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Foster and Kreitzman - Seasons of Life - Temperature as a trigger



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Seasons of Life – Russell G Foster and Leon Kreitzman

In the wild, circannual clocks run precisely at 12 months, but in constant conditions the rhythms have a period that is usually shorter than 12 months.  This suggests that some signal in the environment entrains the clock.  The most obvious [signals] are photoperiod, temperature and social cues.

Temperature can affect the period of circannual hibernation rhythms and may also contribute to their entrainment – perhaps acting synergistically with photoperiod.  Pengelley and Fisher led the way with studies on the golden mantled ground squirrel…… These and similar studies on the European hamster and the common dormouse suggest that temperature might act along with photoperiod as an important signal in entraining hibernation rhythms.

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Foster and Kreitzmann

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