Changes in physiological responses of blood cockle (Tegillarca granosa; Linnaeus, 1758) exposed to high  temperatures
Hee-Jung Lee, Jae-Hee Song, Hee-Do Jeung and Kyungil Park
South East Sea Fisheries Research Institute, NIFS, Tongyeong 39769, Korea Tidal Flat Research Institute, NFIS, Gunsan 54014, Korea Department of Aquatic Life Medicine, College of Ocean Science and Technology, Kunsan National University, Gunsan 54150, Ko
This study examined the physiological responses of cockles exposed to thermal stress in order to optimize techniques for measurement of physiological alternations in cockles and understand the importance of thermal stress on summer mortality events. For these reasons, cockles acclimated to 25°C were exposed to 30°C, 35°C, or 40°C for 4h/day over eight days, and the condition index, nitric oxide (NO) concentration, burrowing rates and mortality rates were measured after each heat treatment. From the 1st day of exposure, and each day after, NO concentrations in cockles significantly increased when the temperatures was > 30°C. In contrast, decreases in phagocytosis rates were observed when specimens were exposed to 30°C from the 2nd day of exposure while the burrowing rates started to decline from the 6th day of exposure when exposed to > 35°C. In addition, the mortality rate of cockles exposed to 35°C for 5 days increased. This study confirmed that cockles exposed to temperatures above 30°C may experience physiological stress, possibly leading to death, depending on the exposure time.
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