Hu S.-N.,Wenzhou University |
Zhu Y.-Y.,Wenzhou University |
Lin L.,Wenzhou University |
Zheng W.-H.,Wenzhou University |
And 3 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2017
Seasonal changes in temperature and photoperiod are important environmental cues used by small birds to adjust their body mass (Mb) and thermogenesis. However, the relative importance of these cues with respect to seasonal adjustments in Mb and thermogenesis is difficult to distinguish. In particular, the effects of temperature and photoperiod on energy metabolism and thermoregulation are not well known in many passerines. To address this problem, we measured the effects of temperature and photoperiod on Mb, energy intake, resting metabolic rate (RMR), organ mass and physiological and biochemical markers of metabolic activity in the Chinese bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis). Groups of Chinese bulbuls were acclimated in a laboratory to the following conditions: (1) warm and long photoperiod, (2) warm and short photoperiod, (3) cold and long photoperiod, and (4) cold and short photoperiod, for 4 weeks. The results indicate that Chinese bulbuls exhibit adaptive physiological regulation when exposed to different temperatures and photoperiods. Mb, RMR, gross energy intake and digestible energy intake were higher in cold-acclimated than in warm-acclimated bulbuls, and in the short photoperiod than in the long photoperiod. The resultant flexibility in energy intake and RMR allows Chinese bulbuls exposed to different temperatures and photoperiods to adjust their energy balance and thermogenesis accordingly. Cold-acclimated birds had heightened state-4 respiration and cytochrome c oxidase activity in their liver and muscle tissue compared with warmacclimated birds indicating the cellular mechanisms underlying their adaptive thermogenesis. Temperature appears to be a primary cue for adjusting energy budget and thermogenic ability in Chinese bulbuls; photoperiod appears to intensify temperature-induced changes in energy metabolism and thermoregulation. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.