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Specific dynamic action affects the hydrostatic pressure tolerance of the shallow water spider crab Maja brachydactyla

By Sven Thatje and Nathan Robinson


The bathymetric distribution of marine benthic invertebrates is likely governed by a combination of ecological and physiological factors. The present study investigates oxygen consumption and heartbeat rate in response to attempted feeding at 1, 100, and 150 atm in the shallow water spider crab, Maja brachydactyla, from temperate European waters. No significant difference was evident between the resting heartbeat rate of specimens at 1 or 100 atm, which were 56 and 65 bpm, respectively (Mann-Whitney: U = 5382.0, n = 95, 98, p = 0.079). However, at 150 atm the resting heartbeat rate was significantly higher than that observed for 100 atm at 108 bpm (Mann-Whitney: U = 149.0, n = 45, 98, p < 0.001). At 150 atm feeding was never observed and coupled with the elevated resting heartbeat rate; it is suggested by 150 atm continued survival is unfeasible. At 1 and 100 atm feeding instigated a distinct increase in heartbeat rate, which remained elevated for over 30 h. This increase peaked within 1 h at 1 atm. At 100 atm this required 4 h and postprandial oxygen consumption was significantly higher than at 1 atm (Kruskal-Wallis: H = 85.036, d.f. = 2, p < 0.001). Elevated hydrostatic pressure is hypothesized to extend the duration and the total metabolic energy devoted to specific dynamic action. The metabolic requirements of feeding under hyperbaric conditions may even reach such a critical demand that feeding is entirely inhibited

Topics: GC, QH301
Year: 2011
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Provided by: e-Prints Soton
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