The effects of hypoxia on pulmonary function and maximal rates of oxygen consumption in two anuran amphibians

P.C. Withers, S.S. Hillman

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Abstract

1. The effects of ambient {Mathematical expression} on the maximal rate of oxygen consumption, alveolar {Mathematical expression} and alveolar ventilation rate were measured for two species of anuran amphibians during forced activity. The maximal rates of oxygen consumption were independent of ambient {Mathematical expression} values as low as 80 Torr for both Bufo cognatus (1.5 ml O2 g-1 h-1) and Rana pipiens (0.64 ml g-1 h-1), and were linearly proportional to ambient {Mathematical expression} at less than 80 Torr. 2. The alveolar {Mathematical expression} of B. cognatus and R. pipiens during forced activity at a normal ambient {Mathematical expression} was 125-135 Torr. Alveolar {Mathematical expression} declined linearly for both species under hypoxic conditions. 3. The alveolar ventilation rate was calculated from maximal oxygen consumption rate and alveolar {Mathematical expression} at various ambient {Mathematical expression} values. The alveolar ventilation rate at 153 Torr was 32 ml min-1atpd for B. cognatus and 19 for R. pipiens during forced activity. The atpd alveolar ventilation increased substantially at lowered ambient {Mathematical expression}, although the stpd alveolar ventilation declined markedly. The interspecific differences in maximal rates of oxygen consumption were correlated with the interspecific differences in alveolar ventilation rates. 4. The relationship between maximal rate of oxygen consumption and ambient {Mathematical expression} for B. cognatus and R. pipiens indicates that ambient {Mathematical expression} and pulmonary ventilation rates do not normally limit the maximal rates of respiratory gas exchange in anuran amphibians. The critical {Mathematical expression} (80 Torr), below which the maximal rate of oxygen consumption declines, corresponds to an altitude of about 4500 m, and is less than the ambient {Mathematical expression} encountered by terrestrial anuran amphibians in their natural environments. © 1983 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B: biochemical, systemic, and environmental physiology
Volume152
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1983

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