Marine Science Faculty Publications

Metabolism of Benthic Octopods (Cephalopoda) as a Function of Habitat Depth and Oxygen Concentration

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Metabolism, Deep-sea, Hypoxia, Cephalopoda, Citrate synthase, Octopine dehydrogenase

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The oxygen consumption rates and activities of key metabolic enzymes were measured and analyzed as a function of habitat depth for several species of benthic octopod (Cephalopoda: Octopoda) including a recently described hydrothermal vent endemic species. Oxygen consumption rates and citrate synthase activity, an indicator of aerobic metabolic potential, did not vary significantly with increasing habitat depth. Anaerobic metabolic potential, as evidenced by octopine dehydrogenase activity, declined significantly with increasing habitat depth. It is suggested that burst swimming abilities, and hence glycolytic potential, are not strongly selected for in the deep-sea, where visual predator-prey interactions are reduced because of light-limitation. Oxygen consumption rates for Octopus californicus and O. bimaculoides were analyzed as a function of oxygen partial pressure as well. O. californicus, which lives in the hypoxic Santa Barbara basin at 500 m depth, was able to regulate its oxygen consumption to the limit of detectable oxygen partial pressures. O. bimaculoides, an intertidal species, had a minimum critical oxygen partial pressure of 16 mmHg. It is also shown that oxygen consumption rates and oxygen consumption regulation are strongly affected by individual experiment duration (either handling stress or food deprivation). O. californicus appears to be much more strongly affected by experiment duration than is O. bimaculoides.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, v. 47, issue 7, p. 1247-1260