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Open-flow respirometry under field conditions: How does the airflow through the nest influence our results?

Nowack, J, Dill, V and Dausmann, KH (2020) Open-flow respirometry under field conditions: How does the airflow through the nest influence our results? Journal of Thermal Biology, 92. ISSN 0306-4565

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Abstract

Open-flow respirometry is a common method to measure oxygen-uptake as a proxy of energy expenditure of organisms in real-time. Although most often used in the laboratory it has seen increasing application under field conditions. Air is drawn or pushed through a metabolic chamber or the nest with the animal, and the O2 depletion and/or CO2 accumulation in the air is analysed to calculate metabolic rate and energy expenditure. Under field conditions, animals are often measured within the microclimate of their nest and in contrast to laboratory work, the temperature of the air entering the nest cannot be controlled. Thus, the aim of our study was to determine the explanatory power of respirometry in a set-up mimicking field conditions. We measured O2 consumption of 14 laboratory mice (Mus musculus) using three different flow rates [50 L*h−1 (834 mL*min−1), 60 L*h−1 (1000 mL*min−1) and 70 L*h−1 (1167 mL*min−1)] and two different temperatures of the inflowing air; either the same as the temperature inside the metabolic chamber (no temperature differential; 20 °C), or cooler (temperature differential of 10 °C). Our results show that the energy expenditure of the mice did not change significantly in relation to a cooler airflow, nor was it affected by different flow rates, despite a slight, but significant decrease of about 1.5 °C in chamber temperature with the cooler airflow. Our study emphasises the validity of the results obtained by open-flow respirometry when investigating energy budgets and physiological responses of animals to ambient conditions. Nevertheless, subtle changes in chamber temperature in response to changes in the temperature and flow rate of the air pulled or pushed through the system were detectable. Thus, constant airflow during open-flow respirometry and consequent changes in nest/chamber temperature should be measured.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Elsevier
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 06 May 2021 09:20
Last Modified: 06 May 2021 09:30
DOI or Identification number: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2020.102667
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14906

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