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Marine Biology

, Volume 141, Issue 6, pp 1019–1027 | Cite as

Effects of emersion and elevated haemolymph ammonia on haemocyanin–oxygen affinity of Cancer pagurus

  •  A. Danford
  •  L. Hagerman
  •  R. Uglow

Abstract.

The subtidal crab Cancer pagurus (L.) experiences involuntary periods of emersion associated with practices used in their marketing and distribution. During 24 h emersion, impaired gill function caused an increase of circulating total ammonia (TA=NH3+NH4+) of 0.35 mmol TA l–1 (167%). The oxygen-binding characteristics of the haemocyanin of C. pagurus were examined at 10°C in the presence of total ammonia (0.2–1.0 mmol TA l–1). The haemocyanin–oxygen affinity was decreased in the presence of TA (ΔlogP50/Δlog[TA]=0.16). Emersion induced significant acidosis and elevated circulating levels of haemolymph TA, lactate and urate, but all had returned to normal levels within 24 h of re-immersion. The accumulation of haemocyanin-modulating substances during 24 h emersion compensated partially (40%) for the effect of the acidosis, but the net effect of the emersion period was a significant decrease in oxygen affinity, corresponding to an increase of P50 (10°C ) from 1.24 kPa (immersed) to 1.96 kPa (24 h emersion). The implications of the findings are considered in terms of the effects and adaptations to emersion.

Keywords

Oxygen Ammonia Lactate Normal Level Oxygen Affinity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  •  A. Danford
    • 1
  •  L. Hagerman
    • 2
  •  R. Uglow
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological Sciences, The University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, United Kingdom
  2. 2.Marine Biological Laboratory, Strandpromenaden 5, 3000 Helsingør, Denmark

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