Original Research

Respirometry — as applied to terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates

W. J. van Aardt
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 9, No 4 | a470 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v9i4.470 | © 1990 W. J. van Aardt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 July 1990 | Published: 08 July 1990

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W. J. van Aardt,, South Africa

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A review is presented of the apparatus and techniques used to determine the oxygen consumption rate (MO₂) of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates. The classic manometric method (especially constant pressure respirometry) has been extensively used in the past to measure MO₂. At present this method is still being used with success for small invertebrates weighing less than 1 mg in live weight. The more modern electrochemical techniques have the advantage that measurements can be made over longer time intervals because these instruments are better suited to automation. MO₂ measurements were first performed on aquatic animals with polarographic oxygen sensors. After the invention of the zirkonium oxygen sensor it is now possible to make accurate measurements of MO₂ on bigger terrestrial invertebrates.


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