Jon F. Harrison, H. Arthur Woods and Stephen P. Roberts

in Ecological and Environmental Physiology of Insects

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199225941
Published online December 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191774607 | DOI:

Series: Ecological and Environmental Physiology Series


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This chapter talks about the central insect respiratory problem – their capability of regulating oxygen delivery to tissues under variable internal and external conditions – pinpointing in particular which physiological mechanisms insects use to regulate oxygen, and how their bodies do so. It also covers the consequences of oxygen deprivation and of oxygen surplus, taking into account a few selected topics that highlight recent progress, rather than aiming for an encyclopedic scope of the subject. The first part of the chapter narrows in on the problems of tissue hypoxia, which is when insects encounter a decreased supply of oxygen. Oftentimes, the reason that tissue oxygenation turns problematic is because there is gross mismatch between supply and demand. This insufficient tissue oxygenation often occurs when an insect transitions from rest to vigorous activity, or when their environment itself contains a decreased supply of oxygen.

Keywords: oxygen deprivation; oxygen surplus; tissue hypoxia; insect respiratory problem; regulate oxygen; tissue oxygenation

Chapter.  18271 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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