Mammalian Reproductive Biology

A unique interdisciplinary overview of the way mammals reproduce, this volume synthesizes research done by laboratory physiologists, behaviorists, population ecologists, and animal breeders. F. H. Bronson has drawn together the disparate literature in these areas to provide students and researchers with a comprehensive and biologically integrated approach to the study of mammalian reproduction. Each chapter presents a wealth of issues and questions, summarizing the current consensus on interpretations as well as viable alternatives under debate. The book is principally concerned with how environmental factors regulate reproduction. Bronson proposes that a mammal's reproductive performance routinely reflects simultaneous regulation by several environmental factors that interact in fascinatingly complex ways. Environment is defined broadly, and the chapters give equal weight to ecological and physiological factors when considering how variables such as food availability, ambient temperature, photoperiod, and social cues interact to regulate a mammal's reproduction. Particular attention is given to seasonal breeding, and a taxonomically arranged chapter underscores the importance of comparative and evolutionary biology to an understanding of mammalian reproduction. Mammalian Reproductive Biology is a powerful argument for the value and importance of interdisciplinary approaches to research. Its almost 1,500 references constitute the most comprehensive bibliography to date on this topic. Bronson also gives detailed consideration to promising areas for future research. Well organized, carefully planned, and clearly written, this book will become standard reading for scientists concerned with any aspect of mammalian biology.