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dc.contributor.authorHamilton, Matthew Thomas
dc.description.abstractCrocodilians are exposed to a suite of abiotic and biotic stressors that have the potential to influence individual and population health. I collected pre- and post-stressor blood and tissue samples from 40 juvenile captive alligators using a short-term capture and handling stress protocol to evaluate the short-term effects of stress on six commonly used wildlife stress and immune metrics, and to validate the use of tail scute tissue samples for quantifying corticosterone concentrations. I found that the short-term stressor of capture and restraint caused significant increases in plasma corticosterone and lactate concentrations, percent heterophils, and H:L ratios, while a significant decrease in percent lymphocytes. I reliably extracted corticosterone from scute tissues, however the significant increase in scute corticosterone concentrations following the short-term stressor necessitates further investigation before applying this technique broadly across crocodilian research. These studies highlight the importance of evaluating the effects of capture methods when investigating environmental stressors.
dc.rightsOn Campus Only Until 2018-05-01
dc.subjectAmerican alligator
dc.subjectAlligator mississippiensis
dc.subjectHypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis (HPA)
dc.titleCharacterizing stress and immune parameters in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
dc.description.departmentDaniel B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
dc.description.majorForest Resources
dc.description.advisorTracey Tuberville
dc.description.advisorRobert B. Bringolf
dc.description.committeeTracey Tuberville
dc.description.committeeRobert B. Bringolf
dc.description.committeeTerry Norton
dc.description.committeeTravis C. Glenn

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