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Physiological Adaptations for Breeding in Birds$
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Tony D. Williams

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691139821

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691139821.001.0001

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The Hormonal and Physiological Control of Egg Production

The Hormonal and Physiological Control of Egg Production

Chapter:
(p.8) Chapter 2 The Hormonal and Physiological Control of Egg Production
Source:
Physiological Adaptations for Breeding in Birds
Author(s):

Tony D. Williams

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691139821.003.0002

This chapter focuses on the regulation of female reproduction and on the physiological regulation of ovary and oviduct function during egg production. Since female reproduction is highly seasonal and occurs in response to seasonal environmental variability, it considers what we know about how information encoded in photoperiodic and non-photoperiodic cues (food, temperature, and social factors) is integrated by the neuroendocrine system and transduced into an (hormonal) output that ultimately determines ovarian function and egg formation. It briefly reviews important aspects of the neuroendocrine system that regulates gonadal function (i.e., the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal [HPG] axis). It compares data for males and females in terms of HPG-axis function and reproductive development to provide evidence that males cannot be considered good models for females, and highlights some discrepancies, inconsistencies, and gaps in our knowledge with regard to control of female reproduction. Throughout it attempts to highlight and describe mechanisms that might generate or constrain individual variability in female reproductive traits.

Keywords:   avian reproduction, female reproduction, egg production, ovary, neuroendocrine system, hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis

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