Seasonal modulation in the secondary stress response of a carcharhinid shark, Rhizoprionodon terraenovae

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Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory


Some animals have the ability to modulate their stress response depending on the type and duration of the stressor. Modulations can initiate behavioral changes that increase fitness during the stressful period. The goal of this study was to determine if Atlantic sharpnose sharks, Rhizoprionodon terraenovae, exhibit seasonal modulations in their secondary stress parameters. Mature, male Atlantic sharpnose sharks were acutely stressed and serially sampled for one-hour, during spring, summer, and fall. An elevated stress response was observed for plasma glucose, lactate and osmolality during summer compared to spring and fall. Glucose also exhibited elevated initial concentrations, followed by a linear response during summer; varying from the asymptotic response during spring and fall. Hematocrit did not show differences over time or season; however, the power of the analysis was low due to the small sample size. When an additional 120 samples were included in the analysis, significantly higher initial hematocrit values were found during summer. Based on these results we suggest that summer is a demanding time for Atlantic sharpnose sharks. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A-Molecular & Integrative Physiology





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