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Photoperiodism: The Biological Calendar

Randy J. Nelson, David L. Denlinger, and David E. Somers


Life evolves in a cyclic environment, and to be successful, organisms must adapt not only to their spatial habitat, but also to their temporal habitat. How do plants and animals determine the time of year so they can anticipate seasonal changes in their habitats? In most cases, day length or photoperiod acts as the principal external cue for determining seasonal activity. For organisms not living at the bottom of the ocean or deep in a cave, day follows night, and the length of the day changes predictably throughout the year. These changes in photoperiod provide the most accurate signal for pr ... More

Keywords: photoperiodism, cyclic environment, organisms, habitat, plants, animals, seasonal changes, day length, photoperiod, seasonal activity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195335903
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335903.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Randy J. Nelson, editor
Ohio State University

David L. Denlinger, editor
Ohio State University

David E. Somers, editor
Ohio State University

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