Hormonal and metabolic responses to nesting activities in the green turtle, Chelonia mydas

Jessop, Tim S., and Hamann, Mark (2004) Hormonal and metabolic responses to nesting activities in the green turtle, Chelonia mydas. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 308 (2). pp. 253-267.

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We examined the association between green turtle nesting activities and plasma profiles of hormones that are widely implicated in aspects of heightened metabolism and energy regulation; epinephrine (EPI), norepinephrine (NE) and corticosterone. In conjunction, we examined plasma profiles of glucose and lactate to infer metabolic processes associated with green turtle nesting behaviour. Finally, because these hormones are also involved in mediating behaviour and physiology associated with stressful situations, we examined the effect of a stressor encountered during nesting, physical disturbance, on hormone levels. Plasma profiles of epinephrine, norepinephrine and corticosterone were not significantly altered across different stages of nesting. Plasma glucose and lactate both exhibited significant increases related to nesting activity; glucose increased dramatically during the emergence stage of nesting before stabilizing, and lactate levels continued to increase throughout the nesting process. There was no significant association between plasma hormones and glucose. For female turtles that abandoned nesting activities due to competition for nest space, there was no significant difference in plasma levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine and corticosterone compared to females that persisted with nesting activities. Overall, while distinct metabolic changes took place in nesting females, there was little association in profiles of hormones typically considered important for regulating heightened metabolism and nesting activity. This disassociation could arise because hormonal action may be altered in breeding female green turtles to facilitate reproductive processes.

Item ID: 8051
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0022-0981
Keywords: Catecholamines; glucose; green turtles; lactate; nesting activity
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2010 01:19
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060806 Animal Physiological Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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