Environmental physiology of the intertidal limpets Patella (Prosobranchia) and Siphonaria (Pulmonata), with particular reference to their metabolic adaptations

Marshall, David John (1991) Environmental physiology of the intertidal limpets Patella (Prosobranchia) and Siphonaria (Pulmonata), with particular reference to their metabolic adaptations. PhD thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

Physiological response to environmental change is examined in species of the intertidal limpets, Patella (Prosobranchia) and Siphonaria (Pulmonata). Characteristics of heart beat were determined using impedance pneumography and these are described. Heart rate of P. granularis is related to temperature and body size, and cardiac arrest in this limpet is apparently stress- related. Siphonaria oculus may exhibit a temperature-independent, extreme, and often prolonged bradycardia (<10 beats/min). When measured shortly after aerial exposure, heart rate and oxygen consumption of the above limpet species are closely correlated. The relationships of aerial oxygen consumption with body weight and ambient temperature were determined for the above high shore species of limpet. Both have low aerial rates of oxygen consumption relative to low shore limpet species, and their QlO values decrease with increasing temperature. Diel field recordings of heart rate of S. oculus, taken during summer and winter, suggest absence of temperature acclimation, and this was also shown for oxygen consumption at high aerial temperatures (30°C) in laboratory experiments. Oxygen consumption of P. granularis is partially temperature compensated temperature acclimation). In air, even though S. oculus loses water faster, it shows greater tolerance of water loss and survives longer than P. granularis. Prolonged aerial exposure of S. oculus leads to depression of heart rate and of V02 (down to 18% of the pre- exposure rate), responses interpreted as representing adaptive metabolic rate depression. In P. granularis aerial heart rate remains constant and V02 never falls below IX 38% of pre-exposure rate. This reduction in V02 in air is considered as being stress-related, resulting from impairment of oxygen uptake. In declining oxygen tension S. capensis shows a better capacity for oxyregulation than P. granularis. On exposure to hypoxia, sand-inundation and hyposalinity, S. capensis may show typical bradycardia ( <10 beats/min), suggesting depression of aerobic metabolism, and on return to pre-exposure conditions there is no overshoot of heart rate, suggesting absence of oxygen debt. The effect of hypoxia, sand-inundation and hyposalinity on heart rate of P. granularis is variable; this becomes depressed and is often interspersed with extended cardiac arrest. When conditions are normalized, this species exhibits a clear overshoot of heart rate. The significance of differences in physiological response between patellid and siphonariid limpets is discussed with regard to their habitat segregation, particularly in the upper-shore zone (open rock and tidal pools) and sand-inundated rock substrata, where only siphonariid limpets may be found. While not previously characterized in marine gastropods, metabolic rate depression by Siphonaria, through facilitating isolation and conserving food reserves, is suggested as a key factor determining their distribution in physico-chemically more extreme and variable intertidal habitats.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Prosobranchia, Pulmonata, Patellidae, Siphonaria, Limpets
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology > Invertebrates
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
Supervisors:McQuaid, Christopher
ID Code:4242
Deposited By: Mrs Judith Cornwell
Deposited On:11 Dec 2012 14:21
Last Modified:11 Dec 2012 14:21
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