The influence of sex, parasitism, and ontogeny on the physiological response of European eel (Anguilla anguilla) to an abiotic stressor

Ana T. Silva*, Jonathan D. Midwood, Kim Aarestrup, Tom G. Pottinger, Steffen S. Madsen, Steven J. Cooke

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Migration of adult European eels (Anguilla anguilla) from freshwater feeding grounds to oceanic spawning grounds is an energetically demanding process and is accompanied by dramatic physiological and behavioral changes. Humans have altered the aquatic environment (e.g., dams) and made an inherently challenging migration even more difficult; human activity is regarded as the primary driver of the collapse in eel populations. The neuroendocrine stress response is central in coping with these challenging conditions, yet little is known about how various biotic factors such as sex, parasites, and ontogeny influence (singly and via interactions) the stress response of eels. In this study, mixed-effects and linear models were used to quantify the influence of sex, parasitism (Anguillicola crassus), life stage (yellow and silver eels), and silvering stage on the stress response of eels when exposed to a standardized handling stressor. The physiological response of eels to a standardized abiotic stressor (netting confinement in air) was quantified through measurements of blood glucose and plasma cortisol. The relationships between biotic factors and the activity of gill Na+/K+-ATPase was also examined. Analyses revealed that in some instances a biotic factor acted alone while in other cases several factors interacted to influence the stress response. Blood glucose concentrations increased after exposure to the standardized stressor and remained elevated after 4 h. Variation in plasma cortisol concentrations after exposure to the stressor were found to be time dependent, which was exacerbated by life stage and parasitism condition. Males and nonparasitized silver eels had the highest Na+/K+-ATPase activity. Silvering stage was strongly positively correlated with Na+/K+-ATPase activity in female eels. Collectively, these findings confirm that the factors mediating stress responsiveness in fish are complicated and that aspects of inherent biotic variation cannot be ignored.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiological and Biochemical Zoology
Volume91
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)976-986
ISSN1522-2152
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this

Silva, Ana T. ; Midwood, Jonathan D. ; Aarestrup, Kim ; Pottinger, Tom G. ; Madsen, Steffen S. ; Cooke, Steven J. / The influence of sex, parasitism, and ontogeny on the physiological response of European eel (Anguilla anguilla) to an abiotic stressor. In: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 2018 ; Vol. 91, No. 4. pp. 976-986.
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abstract = "Migration of adult European eels (Anguilla anguilla) from freshwater feeding grounds to oceanic spawning grounds is an energetically demanding process and is accompanied by dramatic physiological and behavioral changes. Humans have altered the aquatic environment (e.g., dams) and made an inherently challenging migration even more difficult; human activity is regarded as the primary driver of the collapse in eel populations. The neuroendocrine stress response is central in coping with these challenging conditions, yet little is known about how various biotic factors such as sex, parasites, and ontogeny influence (singly and via interactions) the stress response of eels. In this study, mixed-effects and linear models were used to quantify the influence of sex, parasitism (Anguillicola crassus), life stage (yellow and silver eels), and silvering stage on the stress response of eels when exposed to a standardized handling stressor. The physiological response of eels to a standardized abiotic stressor (netting confinement in air) was quantified through measurements of blood glucose and plasma cortisol. The relationships between biotic factors and the activity of gill Na+/K+-ATPase was also examined. Analyses revealed that in some instances a biotic factor acted alone while in other cases several factors interacted to influence the stress response. Blood glucose concentrations increased after exposure to the standardized stressor and remained elevated after 4 h. Variation in plasma cortisol concentrations after exposure to the stressor were found to be time dependent, which was exacerbated by life stage and parasitism condition. Males and nonparasitized silver eels had the highest Na+/K+-ATPase activity. Silvering stage was strongly positively correlated with Na+/K+-ATPase activity in female eels. Collectively, these findings confirm that the factors mediating stress responsiveness in fish are complicated and that aspects of inherent biotic variation cannot be ignored.",
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The influence of sex, parasitism, and ontogeny on the physiological response of European eel (Anguilla anguilla) to an abiotic stressor. / Silva, Ana T.; Midwood, Jonathan D.; Aarestrup, Kim; Pottinger, Tom G.; Madsen, Steffen S.; Cooke, Steven J.

In: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, Vol. 91, No. 4, 2018, p. 976-986.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The influence of sex, parasitism, and ontogeny on the physiological response of European eel (Anguilla anguilla) to an abiotic stressor

AU - Silva, Ana T.

AU - Midwood, Jonathan D.

AU - Aarestrup, Kim

AU - Pottinger, Tom G.

AU - Madsen, Steffen S.

AU - Cooke, Steven J.

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Migration of adult European eels (Anguilla anguilla) from freshwater feeding grounds to oceanic spawning grounds is an energetically demanding process and is accompanied by dramatic physiological and behavioral changes. Humans have altered the aquatic environment (e.g., dams) and made an inherently challenging migration even more difficult; human activity is regarded as the primary driver of the collapse in eel populations. The neuroendocrine stress response is central in coping with these challenging conditions, yet little is known about how various biotic factors such as sex, parasites, and ontogeny influence (singly and via interactions) the stress response of eels. In this study, mixed-effects and linear models were used to quantify the influence of sex, parasitism (Anguillicola crassus), life stage (yellow and silver eels), and silvering stage on the stress response of eels when exposed to a standardized handling stressor. The physiological response of eels to a standardized abiotic stressor (netting confinement in air) was quantified through measurements of blood glucose and plasma cortisol. The relationships between biotic factors and the activity of gill Na+/K+-ATPase was also examined. Analyses revealed that in some instances a biotic factor acted alone while in other cases several factors interacted to influence the stress response. Blood glucose concentrations increased after exposure to the standardized stressor and remained elevated after 4 h. Variation in plasma cortisol concentrations after exposure to the stressor were found to be time dependent, which was exacerbated by life stage and parasitism condition. Males and nonparasitized silver eels had the highest Na+/K+-ATPase activity. Silvering stage was strongly positively correlated with Na+/K+-ATPase activity in female eels. Collectively, these findings confirm that the factors mediating stress responsiveness in fish are complicated and that aspects of inherent biotic variation cannot be ignored.

AB - Migration of adult European eels (Anguilla anguilla) from freshwater feeding grounds to oceanic spawning grounds is an energetically demanding process and is accompanied by dramatic physiological and behavioral changes. Humans have altered the aquatic environment (e.g., dams) and made an inherently challenging migration even more difficult; human activity is regarded as the primary driver of the collapse in eel populations. The neuroendocrine stress response is central in coping with these challenging conditions, yet little is known about how various biotic factors such as sex, parasites, and ontogeny influence (singly and via interactions) the stress response of eels. In this study, mixed-effects and linear models were used to quantify the influence of sex, parasitism (Anguillicola crassus), life stage (yellow and silver eels), and silvering stage on the stress response of eels when exposed to a standardized handling stressor. The physiological response of eels to a standardized abiotic stressor (netting confinement in air) was quantified through measurements of blood glucose and plasma cortisol. The relationships between biotic factors and the activity of gill Na+/K+-ATPase was also examined. Analyses revealed that in some instances a biotic factor acted alone while in other cases several factors interacted to influence the stress response. Blood glucose concentrations increased after exposure to the standardized stressor and remained elevated after 4 h. Variation in plasma cortisol concentrations after exposure to the stressor were found to be time dependent, which was exacerbated by life stage and parasitism condition. Males and nonparasitized silver eels had the highest Na+/K+-ATPase activity. Silvering stage was strongly positively correlated with Na+/K+-ATPase activity in female eels. Collectively, these findings confirm that the factors mediating stress responsiveness in fish are complicated and that aspects of inherent biotic variation cannot be ignored.

U2 - 10.1086/698689

DO - 10.1086/698689

M3 - Journal article

VL - 91

SP - 976

EP - 986

JO - Physiological and Biochemical Zoology

JF - Physiological and Biochemical Zoology

SN - 1522-2152

IS - 4

ER -