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Describe the Structural and Physiological Adaptations Shown by Invertebrates to Varying Oxygen Concentrations.

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Karen Baker Biology Essay: Describe the Structural and Physiological Adaptations Shown by Invertebrates to Varying Oxygen Concentrations. For aquatic animals, changes in oxygen concentration are particularly important because many aquatic animals cannot survive when oxygen concentrations dip below a certain level. Oxygen concentrations also determine the solubility of several important substances, notably phosphate, iron, and manganese. One problem faced is that the oxygen concentration in water is a great deal less than that of air, as oxygen is soluble in water only to a limited extent, so the respiratory gases needed are much less available in water than they are in air. Also, oxygen availability is temperature dependent. The solubility of any gas in water depends on the temperature of medium: the warmer the medium, the lower the concentration of gas which can be dissolved in it: Water viscosity is also much greater than air viscosity. Viscosity is the tendency of the fluid to resist flow, and is important when it comes to respiration, because respiration requires the movement of fluid over a respiratory surface. ...read more.


For example, these tracheae can be found at the end of the abdomen (caudal gills), along the abdomen itself (abdominal gills), or on the thorax (thoracic gills). Occasionally there is the development of secondary gills. For example, the common river limpet Ancylus has a newly developed gill located within a flooded mantle cavity. 3. Breathing tubes or siphons These are essentially tubes which enable an aquatic invertebrate to continue to rely on atmospheric gas. It consists of a breathing tube that leads from the invertebrate respiratory structure to the surface of the water. These are used primarily by aquatic insects living in still water. The insect is able to rise up to the surface of the water where it can obtain oxygen through spiracles. Such adaptations can be found in the Culicidae, which include the mosquitoes and gnats in their larval stages. They have breathing tubes on the end of the abdomen, which are brought to the surface of the water. Here they are quite short and the larva hangs below the water surface. In the drone fly larvae (colloquially known as rat-tailed maggots) ...read more.


Tracheal gas exchange continues after the beetle submerges and anchors itself beneath the surface. As the beetle takes in oxygen from the bubble, the partial pressure of oxygen inside the bubble falls below that in the water; causing oxygen to diffuse from the water into the bubble to replace that consumed. The carbon dioxide produced by the beetle diffuses through its tracheal system into the bubble and from there into the water. Due to the partial pressure of nitrogen in the bubble rising as oxygen is removed, the nitrogen diffuses out to the water, causing the bubble to shrink. This means the supply must be replenished by another trip to the surface. The water boatman also transports an air bubble down into the water for gaseous exchange. It traps a bubble of air among the hairs at the base of the abdomen. When the air has been used up, the inset simply returns to the surface for a fresh supply of air. Reference for this essay taken from the text book 'Exchange and Transport, Energy and Ecosystems', and from the following web sites: www.aber.ac.uk, and www.britannica.com ...read more.

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