Temperature- and body mass-related variation in cyclic gas exchange characteristics and metabolic rate of seven species: Broader implications

29 March 2007

The influence of temperature on metabolic rate and characteristics of the gas exchange patterns of flightless, sub-Antarctic Ectemnorhinus-group species from Heard and Marion islands was investigated. All of the species showed cyclic gas exchange with no Flutter period, indicating that these species are not characterized by discontinuous gas exchange cycles. Metabolic rate estimates were substantially lower in this study than in a previous one of a subset of the species, demonstrating that open-system respirometry methods provide more representative estimates of standard metabolic rate than do many closed-system methods. We recommend that the latter, and especially constant-pressure methods, either be abandoned for estimates of standard metabolic rate in insects, or have their outputs subject to careful scrutiny, given the wide availability of the former. VĖ™ CO2 increase with an increase in temperature (range: 0ā€“15 1C) was modulated by an increase in cycle frequency, but typically not by an increase in burst volume. Previous investigations of temperature-related changes in cyclic gas exchange (both cyclic and discontinuous) in several other insect species were therefore substantiated. Interspecific mass-scaling of metabolic rate (ca. 0.466ā€“0.573, excluding and including phylogenetic non-independence, respectively) produced an exponent lower than 0.75 (but not distinguishable from it or from 0.67). The increase of metabolic rate with mass was modulated by an increase in burst volume and not by a change in cycle frequency, in keeping with investigations of species showing discontinuous gas exchange. These findings are discussed in the context of the emerging macrophysiological metabolic theory of ecology.