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HEMOLYMPH RESPIRATORY GAS, ACID-BASE, AND ION STATUS OF THE AMPHIBIOUS PURPLE SHORE CRAB LEPTOGRAPSUS VARIEGATUS (FABRICIUS) IN RESPONSE TO AIR-BREATHING

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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The physiological response of the Australian supratidal crab Leptograpsus variegatus (Fabricius) to breathing air was investigated in laboratory simulations. Crabs were held overnight and the hemolymph respiratory gas values, acid-base, and ionic status were assessed during 12-h air-breathing and for 6 h on return to the original conditions, in which the crabs had access to water. Emersion elicited only a small, transient hypercapnia which did not show as an increase in total CO2. Analysis revealed that venous PCO 2 was significantly greater than arterial only during the first hour of emersion and that venous CO2 content at no time exceeded arterial. The buffer capacity of hemolymph of Leptograpsus was relatively low (Δ[HCO3-]/ΔpH = -5.59) and thus changes in CO2 would have marked changes in acid-base state, but there was no significant acidosis. Similarly there was no significant change in either PO2 or CO2, with a large arterialvenous difference being maintained throughout emersion and recovery. L-lactate in the hemolymph remained below 1 mmol·l-1. Upon emersion, there were transient increases in osmotic pressure, Na and especially Cl concentration, with smaller increases and decreases in the concentration of Mg and Ca, respectively. Examination of in vivo oxygen equilibria clearly revealed that there are no changes in the functioning of hemocyanin of Leptograpsus associated with enforced air-breathing and that arterial and venous Hc-O2. saturation remains unchanged after 12-h air-breathing. Leptograpsus does not experience any major disturbance of CO2 or acid-base status during 12-h enforced air-breathing and maintains O2 delivery without recourse to modulation of hemocyanin functioning. Thus Leptograpsus maintains respiratory and acid-base status in air similar to that observed in animals with access to water.

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/content/journals/10.1163/193724096x00036
1996-01-01
2016-12-03

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