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The oxygen consumption of mayfly (Ephemeroptera) and stonefly (Plecoptera) larvae at different oxygen concentration

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  • Bjorn Nagell
  • Institute of Zoophysiology, University of Uppsala, Sweden

1. The aim of this investigation was to elucidate how four acquatic insect larvae, from different habitats and having different respiratory organs or types of respiratory regulation, react to a lowered oxygen concentration, and how their oxygen consumption is affected. The species investigated were the stoneflies Taeniopteryx nebulosa, Diura nanseni and Nemoura cincerea and the mayfly Cloëon dipterum. 2. The measurements were performed in a respiratory apparatus of open, flowing-water type. Its design is shown in Fig. 1. Water of known oxygen concentration was allowed to flow past the experimental larvae. The oxygen consumption of the larvae was calculated from the lowering of the oxygen concentration in which ensued. 3. The water used in the experiments was standardized, so that the electrode had the necessary stability (conductivity 470 micromhos/cm). The calcium ion was excluded in order to prevent the precipitation of CaCO3 in the electrode capillary. 4. A large variation in the values of oxygen consumption was found as seen in Fig. 2–5. The reason for that is a corresponding variation in the motor activity of the experimental animals. 5. The physiological reasons for the general form of the curves A and C in Fig. 2–5 are discussed. The curves A and C represent oxygen consumption of the larvae at different degrees of stimulation, entailing different levels of motor activity. Curve A represents intentinally activated animals, curve C non-activated, motionless animals. The curves A and C are boundary curves corresponding to a sort of scope for activity of the animals. Over this scope area a series of curves of the same form could in principal be construed, representing different degrees of stimulation. 6. Within a certain oxygen concentration interval a motor activation was observed caused by a reduced oxygen concentration. The result of that activation can be seen in Fig. 2–5 as a zone with no or very few oxygen consumption values between curve C and D. The more easily activated the species is, the broader the zone will be. Cloën has the most narrow zone and was observed to be less activated than the other species. 7. Small larvae of Cloën (2–4 mm and 42–6 mm) and Nemoura (2–4 mm) showed clearly a greater ability to take up oxygen at low oxygen concentrations than full-grown larvae (see Fig. 8 and 9). 8. The critical point on the curve representing mean oxygen consumption as a function of oxygen concentrations was found to be at 2–5 mg O2/1 for Taeniopteryx and Diura, at 2.2–2.5 mg O2/1 for Cloëon, and at about 2–7 mg O2/1 for Nemoura. The values refer to 8°. Cloëon is the species which is exposed to the greatest variations in oxygen concentration in its natural environment. 9. No influence on the oxygen consumption of starvation for 4 to 5 days was found. No difference between the oxygen consumption values obtained in the presence or in the absence of calcium ions could be observed during the experiments (Fig. 10, 11). 10. The basic picture obtained in this investigation is a set of oxygen consumption values scattered between a curve connecting highest values obtained and a curve of the standard metabolism together with a zone in which the larvae are activated by reduced oxygen concentrations. This picture is presumed to be general in aquatic animals with a well developed motor activity.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - natural sciences
  • 2 - biology
  • 3 - marine biology & hydrobiology
Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
  • 4 - vertebres: systeme cardiovasculaire
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
Catégories WoS
  • 1 - science ; 2 - marine & freshwater biology
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