Department of Biology

Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Professor Peter Teglberg Madsen

Dive heart rate in harbour porpoises is influenced by exercise and expectations

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Documents

DOI

The dive response, a decrease in heart rate (f(H)) and peripheral vasoconstriction, is the key mechanism allowing breath-hold divers to perform long-duration dives. This pronounced cardiovascular response to diving has been investigated intensely in pinnipeds, but comparatively little is known for cetaceans, in particular in ecologically relevant settings. Here, we studied the dive f(H) response in one of the smallest cetaceans, the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). We used a novel multi-sensor data logger to record dive behaviour, f(H), ventilations and feeding events in three trained porpoises, providing the first evaluation of cetacean f(H) regulation while performing a variety of natural behaviours, including prey capture. We predicted that tagged harbour porpoises would exhibit a decrease in f(H) in all dives, but the degree of bradycardia would be influenced by dive duration and activity, i.e. the dive f(H) response would be exercise modulated. In all dives, f(H) decreased compared with surface rates by at least 50% (mean maximum surface f(H)= 173 beats min(-1), mean minimum dive f(H)= 50 beats min(-1)); however, dive f(H) was approximately 10 beats min(-1) higher in active dives as a result of a slower decrease in f(H) and more variable f(H) during pursuit of prey. We show that porpoises exhibit the typical breath-hold diver bradycardia during aerobic dives and that the f(H) response is modulated by exercise and dive duration; however, other variables such as expectations and individual differences are equally important in determining diving f(H).

Original languageEnglish
Article number168740
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume221
Issue1
Number of pages9
ISSN0022-0949
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • Diving physiology, Bradycardia, Dive response, Cetacean, Heart rate regulation, Exercise, DOLPHINS TURSIOPS-TRUNCATUS, CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS, PHOCOENA-PHOCOENA, WEDDELL SEALS, ZALOPHUS-CALIFORNIANUS, DIVING BRADYCARDIA, MARINE MAMMALS, ELEPHANT SEALS, METABOLIC-RATE, BEHAVIOR

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 121139838