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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Energetics of activity in the abalone: haliotis kamtschatkana Donovan, Deborah Anne


The purpose of this thesis was to investigate several aspects of the energetic costs of activity in the Northern abalone, Haliotis kamtschatkana. The percentage of daily consumed energy partitioned to activity was calculated by first measuring summer and winter energy budgets in which abalone were inactive during measurements of respiration and mucus secretion, then by measuring respiration and mucus-secretion for active animals by integrating summer and winter activity budgets with energy equivalents for each activity. Energy expenditure due to metabolic changes during exposure to environmental stressors, measured as increases in blood-glucose levels and oxygen consumption, was also related to the summer energy budget. Abalone locomotion was investigated in several ways. Cost of transport was determined for a range of speeds and sizes by inducing abalone to locomote in respirometers and measuring oxygen consumption at known speeds. Relative contributions of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism were measured by analyzing muscle tissues for anaerobic metabolites after locomotion had occurred and comparing amounts of accumulated metabolites to amount of oxygen consumed during locomotion. Pedal morphology during locomotion was also investigated to detennine if possible energy-saving changes occur. This was accomplished by videotaping the pedal soles of locomoting abalone and measuring various foot morphometries. Activity, in the form of increased respiration and mucus secretion, accounted for a substantial portion of daily consumed energy during both seasons. Exposure to predatory seastars significantly increased blood-glucose titers and oxygen consumption, resulting in a metabolic increase equivalent to 0.3% of daily summer energy consumption. Cost of transport for abalone was less than that of other gastropods, possibly due to its larger relative size. Mucus secretion during locomotion did not vary with speed, but was less than the amount needed for substratum adherence. During locomotion, tauropine and D-lactate levels increased significantly in foot muscle while arginine decreased. Morphological analyses of pedal waves showed that the pedal sole area decreased with increasing speed, and the area of the foot incorporated into pedal waves increased. Together, these changes translated into a decrease pedal sole area in contact with the substratum.

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