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Interplay between age class, sex and stress response in green turtles (Chelonia mydas)

journal contribution
posted on 2005-05-24, 00:00 authored by Tim Jessop, M Hamann
We investigated plasma hormone profiles of corticosterone in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in response to a capture stress protocol. Further, we examined whether age class and sex were covariates associated with variation in both basal corticosterone levels and the adrenocortical stress response of non-breeding green turtles. Green turtles responded to the capture stress protocol by significantly increasing plasma levels of corticosterone over an eight-hour period. Further, there was a significant effect of age class on the capacity for green turtles to produce corticosterone in response to a capture stressor, with juvenile green turtles having higher basal levels of corticosterone and producing significantly more corticosterone in response to capture stress than non-breeding adult turtles. In contrast there was no significant sex difference in the corticosterone stress response of green turtles irrespective of age class. In summary, green turtles exhibited an adrenocortical response to a capture stress protocol. This response was significantly associated with different age classes, perhaps suggesting that the response is increased in juvenile turtles to offset the reduced probability of survival consistent with this more vulnerable age class.

History

Journal

Australian journal of zoology

Volume

53

Issue

2

Pagination

131 - 136

Publisher

CSIRO Publishing

Location

Clayton, Vic.

ISSN

0004-959X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2005, CSIRO