Post-settlement energy reserves in Panulirus cygnus: experimental effects of starvation on survival and nutritional condition
Post-settlement survival success in rock (spiny) lobsters is likely to be influenced by the nutritional condition of the non-feeding pueruli at settlement. Consequently, we predict that survival shortly after settlement depends on food resources being replenished rapidly. In the present study the length of the starvation period on survival in post-puerulus juveniles of the western rock lobster Panulirus cygnus was investigated using laboratory experiments. All experimental pueruli were collected from Seven Mile Beach, Western Australia, using sandwich puerulus collectors. Total lipid, lipid class, fatty acid, total protein and total glycogen analyses were conducted on fed and starved post-puerulus juvenile lobsters, from moult into the first juvenile stage to 30 days post-moult. From a total of 165 samples used in this study, 15 post-puerulus juveniles were sampled initially and five post-puerulus juveniles sampled every 5 days thereafter for biochemical analysis. Post-puerulus juveniles survived up to 34 days of starvation. The maximal starvation time for post-puerulus juveniles from which recovery was observed is estimated to be in excess of 22 days. Lipids, in particular phospholipids, are shown to be the most important source of energy catabolised during the starvation period, with greater than 62% reduction in total lipid at day 30. Proteins were also catabolised during starvation, but to a much lesser extent than lipid, decreasing by 34% in total content at day 25. Carbohydrates were present always as a minor constituent, however their content did not change significantly during starvation. Our results suggest that the pueruli collected in December 2004 were generally in sufficiently good condition to survive further starvation after settlement; nutritional levels of the post-puerulus juveniles were enhanced compared to those observed in previous studies. We suggest that the high levels of energy reserves in rock lobster post-pueruli may provide an adaptive advantage to aid the transition from pelagic to benthic living by minimising stress and the consequences of failing to locate immediately suitable food resources.
KeywordsPolar Lipid Lipid Class Starvation Period Rock Lobster Major Lipid Class
We greatly acknowledge the generous financial support provided by the Department of Animal Biology, UWA and CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (Postgraduate Research Scholarship to A.L.). We also acknowledge the invaluable assistance provided by the Western Australian Fisheries Department, which generously provided numerous puerulus with which to conduct all experiments. We would also like to thank Danny Holdsworth, Matt Miller and Ben Mooney for technical support during running of the GC–MS and lipid and fatty acid analyses, and John Carragher and Michael Roberts for providing the glycogen extraction and assay protocol. Thanks to two anonymous referees for helpful comments on the manuscript. Experiments used in this study comply with the current laws of Australia.
- Anger K (2001) The biology of decapod crustacean larvae. Crustacean issues, 14. AA Balkema, LisseGoogle Scholar
- Castell JD (1982) Fatty acid metabolism in crustaceans In: Pruder GD, Langdon CJ, Conklin DE (eds) Proceedings of the second international conference on aquaculture nutrition: biochemical and physiological approaches to shellfish nutrition Louisiana State University Division of Continuing Education, Baton Rouge, pp 124–145Google Scholar
- Crisp DJ (1976) The role of the pelagic larva. In: Davies PS (ed) Perspectives in experimental biology and zoology. Pergamon Press, New York, pp 145–155Google Scholar
- D’Abramo LR (1997) Triacylglycerols and fatty acids. In: D’Abramo LR, Conklin DE, Akiyama DM (eds) Advances in world aquaculture-crustacean nutrition. World Aquaculture Society, Baton Rouge, pp 587Google Scholar
- Liddy GC, Nelson MM, Nichols PD, Phillips BF, Maguire GB (2004) The lipid composition of early stage western rock lobster (Panulirus cygnus) phyllosoma: importance of polar lipid and essential fatty acids. J Shellfish Res 23:265–273Google Scholar
- Nichols PD, Nichols DS, Bakes MJ (1994) Developments with marine oil products in Australia. AOCS Int News Fats Oils Related Mater 5:254–261Google Scholar
- Pearce A (1997) The nutritional condition of newly settled Jasus edwardsii (Hutton, 1875) (Palinuridae). BSc Hons Thesis, University of Tasmania, TasmaniaGoogle Scholar
- Phillips BF, Jeffs AG, Melville-Smith R, Chubb C, Nelson MM, Nichols PD (2006) Changes in lipid and fatty acid composition of late larval and puerulus stages of the spiny lobster (Panulirus cygnus) across the continental shelf of Western Australia. Comp Biochem Physiol B 143:219–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Phillips BF, Melville-Smith R, Rossbach M, Cheng YW, Caputi N, Thomson AW, Mills D, Crear BJ (2003) Towards establishing techniques for large scale harvesting of pueruli and obtaining a better understanding of mortality rates, Fisheries Research Report, FRDC Project 1998/302—Rock Lobster Enhancement & Aquaculture Subprogram, Perth, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
- Speck U, Urich K (1969) Consumption of body constituents during starvation in the crayfish, Orconectes limosus. Z Vgl Physiol 63:410–414Google Scholar
- Virtue P, Nicol S, Nichols PD (1993) Changes in the digestive gland of Euphausia superba during short-term starvation: lipid class, fatty acid and sterol content and composition. Mar Biol 117:441–448Google Scholar
- Volkman JK, Nichols PD (1991) Applications of thin layer chromatography-flame ionization detection to the analysis of lipids and pollutants in marine and environmental samples. J Planar Chromotogr 4:19–26Google Scholar