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The effect of temperature on insect respiration rates

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Introduction

The effect of temperature on insect respiration rates Aim: To determine how changing the surrounding temperature influences the rate of respiration of an insect, in this case a locust. Hypothesis: Increasing the temperature should raise the rate of respiration as it will increase enzyme activity and therefore cell metabolism. This in turn will cause the cells of the locust to use up oxygen more quickly increasing carbon dioxide levels in the cells whose detection will quicken the breathing rate, the observation of the inspiration of air will be used to determine the rate of respiration. As oxygen is used up, the locust notices this drop by the accumulation of lactic acid in its muscles. When oxygen is not present (anaerobic conditions) the first stage of respiration, glycolysis, and takes place readily but the link reaction in the matrix of the mitochondria is different from that in aerobic respiration. Instead of pyruvate being converted into acetyl coenzyme A, as under aerobic conditions, it is converted to lactic acid. ...read more.

Middle

The temperatures in all water baths were maintained by occasional heating with a Bunsen flame. Results: The following table shows the recorded respirations over five various temperatures: Temperature ( �C) Respiration rate (inspirations/minute) Mean (x) Standard deviation 10 27 18 5 5.33 0.47 6 5 20 53 41 17 17.33 0.47 17 18 22 40 30 24 20 19.67 0.47 19 20 30 27 26 27 0.82 28 40 41 39 40 0.82 40 The first three sets of results have an initial increase before settling down (ringed entries), this is due to the locust becoming unsettled as it was transferred between water baths, but in the last two result sets the locust was given a settling time of 5 minutes so that it had time to adjust to its altered surroundings. The means and standard deviations were calculated only for the rates once they had been assumed to settle, so as to take into consideration the accuracy and consistency of the sets of results that will mainly be used. ...read more.

Conclusion

so air moves in through the spiracles by a system of mass flow, this air then supplies oxygen to all parts of the locust's body via the tracheal network. This system is only applicable to smaller organisms as they have a relatively small volume to provide oxygen to so a diffusion system can function without the necessity of a more complex circulatory system. The Q10 law was not upheld by the results as increases in temperature by 10�C did not lead to doubling the respiration rate but varied greatly from quadrupling to less than doubling; although there did appear to be a rise of 10-15 inspiration per minute between all 10�C intervals. The results obtained were as expected with no clearly anomalous results, the only factor that could have affected the results was that although the water baths were heated to various temperatures it was assumed that the cells of the locust were metabolising at the set temperatures. This fact was not known for certain as locusts are relatively large invertebrates and the heat may not have been distributed throughout the whole organism. ...read more.

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