Marine Biology

, 163:41 | Cite as

Is the stress response affected by season? Clues from an in situ study with a key intertidal shrimp

  • Diana Madeira
  • Vanessa Mendonça
  • Catarina Vinagre
  • Mário S. Diniz
Original paper


Temperate species undergo wide variations of abiotic factors according to season, with temperature and photoperiod being two of the main factors that change. Given that several laboratory studies have reported the capacity of intertidal species to trigger the cellular stress response when exposed to challenging environmental conditions, the aim of this study was to address this capacity in situ (38°42′N, 9°29′W) in a key intertidal species, the shrimp Palaemon elegans. This study assessed changes in (1) thermal stress (heat-shock protein 70 kDa—Hsp70, total ubiquitin—Tub) and oxidative stress biomarkers (antioxidant enzymes: catalase—CAT, superoxide dismutase—SOD, glutathione-S-transferase—GST, and oxidation products: lipid peroxidation—LPO) in the muscle and visceral mass, and assessed changes in (2) ion concentrations (Ca2+, Na+, K+) in the muscle of shrimps under spring and summer conditions in the wild. Tissue-specific biomarker responses were detected, with greater induction in the muscle (increased Tub, CAT, SOD and LPO). Visceral mass showed decreased (Tub, CAT, GST) or constant (Hsp70, SOD) biomarker levels except for LPO, which increased in summer-acclimatized animals. Potassium ion increased in the muscle of summer-acclimatized shrimps suggesting ionic regulation. This study showed that P. elegans employs different biochemical strategies depending on the season, potentially as a mechanism of seasonal acclimatization involving the protein quality control system, oxidative stress pathways and ionic regulation. These effects should be considered in environmental monitoring programs to avoid the interference of confounding variables, which change seasonally.

Graphical Abstract


Cellular Stress Response Tidal Pool Visceral Mass Routine Metabolic Rate Intertidal Species 
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.



The authors would like to thank Marta Dias and Carolina Madeira for the help provided during field sampling. In addition, authors would like to thank Carolina Madeira for the photograph used in the graphical abstract. This study had the support of the Portuguese Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian through the award given to D. Madeira ‘Research Stimulus Program 2012, Reference Number 126739’. This study also had the support of the Portuguese Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) [individual Grants: senior researcher position to C.V., SFRH/BD/80613/2011 to D.M.; Project Grants PTDC/MAR/119068/2010 and PTDC/MAR-EST/2141/2012; strategic Project Grants UID/Multi/04378/2013 and UID/MAR/04292/2013].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCIBIO-REQUIMTE, Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Ciencias e TecnologiaUniversidade NOVA de LisboaCaparicaPortugal
  2. 2.Faculdade de Ciências, MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences CentreUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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