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Investigation To determine The Effect Of Carbon Dioxide On The Ventilation Rate Of Locusts.

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Investigation To determine The Effect Of Carbon Dioxide On The Ventilation Rate Of Locusts. Introduction To determine what effect carbon dioxide would have on the ventilation rate of locusts the following method was used. A Locust was placed head first into a boiling tube and held in by a piece of cotton wool. The boiling tube was laid flat onto the desk, the ventilation rate of the locust measured by counting the swellings of the abdomen which occurred with each inspiration. The level of carbon dioxide was then increased by breathing into the test tube for 1 second. The locust was allowed 20 seconds to adjust to the new concentration and then a reading was taken at this concentration. This was repeated using breaths of lengths, 2,3,4,5 seconds and also repeated in triplicate. Results The below table shows the number of abdominal swellings observed from the locust in a 30 second period under different concentrations of carbon dioxide due to differing lengths of a human exhalation into the locust environment. ...read more.


As these were such short periods of time the margin of error is greatly increased. For example for 1 second, to extend the times taken to breath into the boiling tube by 0.1 seconds would be to increase the time by 10% of the total time for that test; whereas for 5 seconds to go over the time taken by 0.1 of a second would be to increase the time taken by 2%. This means that as the time taken for the breath is increased results become more reliable as the margin of error for observations of this kind are decreased. It can be seen also from table 1 that the range of results for each length of breath is much greater for 1 and 2 seconds at 8 and 5 (opposed to 1,2 and 3 for 3,4,and 5 seconds respectively). This goes on to prove that due to such a great margin of error for the first tests that the results may not be due to a fair test. ...read more.


Locusts breath through spiracles on the underside of their abdomen. This is because they have an 'open circulatory system'. This is a system where by blood is taken into a central organ (serving a similar pumping service to the mammalian heart). This tube like structure then contracts sending the blood towards the head of the locust, from here the blood is allowed to run down through the locusts anatomy bathing the internal organs. (The locust has no blood vessels). Gaseous exchange is performed as the blood passes by the spiracles on the abdomen. Oxygen, carbon dioxide and other solutes are carried by the blood in the above mentioned process around the internal anatomy of the locust. If the locust was held in an inverted position it may have hindered the insects ability to pass the blood around the internal organs and therefore decrease the locust's ability to perform gaseous exchange or supply oxygen to the internal organs. The experiment as a whole showed a positive correlation between the presumed concentration of carbon dioxide in the locusts environment and the ventilation rate of the locust. ...read more.

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