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Abstract



Citation. Tester, J. R.; Figala, J. 1990. Effects of biological and environmental factors on activity rhythms of wild animals. Pages 809-819 in D. K. Hayes, J. E. Pauly and R. J. Reiter, Eds. Chronobiology: Its Role in Clinical Medicine, General Biology, and Agriculture. Part B. Wiley-Liss, Inc.   [1155  LTER]

Introduction. Activity rhythms of vertebrates, and the biological clocks which control these rhythms, have been of great interest to both laboratory and field biologists. These rhythms have proven to be persistent under a wide variety of experimental conditions. The presence of endogenous oscillators controlling such rhythms is the subject of active research (Edmunds, 1988). In spite of the presence of such oscillators and the exceptional control which they exert on activity under controlled conditions, activity of wild animals in the natural environment does not exhibit high precision nor does it maintain the same pattern throughout the year (Tester, 1987). Pohl (1982) reported that this variability in activity rhythms is probably related to special ecological requirements of the species. The variability in activity rhythms is probably related to special ecological requirements of the species. The variability is manifested in terms of the time of onset and end of activity and as a result, changes in such circadian characteristics as period and phase relationships (Figala et al., 1984; Figala and Tester, 1985).

Keywords. activity rhythms,


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