Meeting Abstract

31-6  Thursday, Jan. 5 15:00 - 15:15  Constant and Cycling Incubation Temperatures Affect the Mass, Size, and Metabolic Rate of Adult Japanese quail. BEN-EZRA, N; HARRIS, N; BURNESS, G*; TRENT UNIVERSITY; TRENT UNIVERSITY; TRENT UNIVERSITY

The temperature at which eggs are incubated can have wide-ranging effects on the development of young birds. However, the role that cycling incubation temperatures may play in phenotypic variation is less studied. We incubated Japanese quail eggs at control (37.5°C) and low (36.0°C) temperatures, and under a cyclical temperature regime (which had the same average incubation temperature as the low temperature treatment, and a high temperature that was the same as the controls). We then followed the development of hatchlings to adulthood. As adults, individuals incubated in the low temperature treatment were lighter and smaller than those in the control group, but had higher basal metabolic rates (BMR) than individuals in the cyclical group. Cycling incubation temperatures offset the effects of a constant low incubation temperature on BMR, but not on mass or size. Because embryonic metabolic rate was the same across treatments, the differences we observed in BMR among adults presumably occurred during post-hatching development. Our results highlight the importance of incubation temperature and its pattern on morphological and physiological variation in adult birds.