Effect of Heat Stress and Starvation on the Respiration Rates of Nucella ostrina
This study tested if intertidal snails Nucella ostrina would feel more stress after undergoing a heat treatment designed to simulate a low tide condition if they were fed or starved. Our predictions were that N. ostrina would recover more quickly from stress if they had recently eaten, possibly due to the metabolic energy available for tissue regeneration and thermotolerance from accessible heat shock proteins. Respiration rates were measured for snails that had undergone no heat treatment, then they were exposed to a heat treatment (30 degrees Celsius for one hour) and put back in a respiration chamber to once again measure their respiration rate. Half of the snails in the treatment had been constantly exposed to food for a full two weeks, while the other half had been starved for two weeks. We found no significant difference between fed and starved snails in terms of recovery from stress, as measured by respiratory rates. Both fed and starved snails appeared to have similar responses after being exposed to a heat treatment, which could be an indication that heat does not cause stress to snails or that respiration rate is a poor metric of stress levels.