Adaptive considerations of temperature dependence of neuromuscular function in two species of summer- and winter-caught Crab (Carcinus maenas and Cancer pagurus)

D. Hyde, T. Pearson, S. Qari, K. Bowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to determine seasonal differences in the temperature dependence of neuromuscular parameters of the dactylopodite walking leg closer muscle in two species of freshly caught summer and winter decapod crabs. The relatively stenothermal Cancer pagurus (Cp) and eurythermal Carcinus maenas (Cm) muscle resting potential (RP) hyperpolarised significantly with increasing experimental temperature. The muscle RP in Cm was seasonally dependent at acute temperatures above 20 °C whereas in Cp no seasonal effect was observed. The latent period of the muscle excitatory junction potential (EJP) following tonic motor nerve stimulation was significantly longer in winter-caught crabs in both species, although the effect was significantly more marked in Cp than Cm. Summer-caught Cp had larger excitatory junction potentials (EJPs) than did winter-caught crabs, a seasonal effect not seen in Cm. In contrast, marked seasonal differences were found in the EJP decay time constant in Cm having significantly longer time constants in winter-caught crabs, where no seasonal difference was found in Cp. These results suggest that different seasonal effects of neuromuscular parameters between Cm and Cp may reflect different strategies of response to their different seasonal temperature environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-636
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Issue number6
Early online date21 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Crab
  • Season
  • Acclimatization

Cite this