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Oxygen limitation is not the cause of death during lethal heat exposure in an insect
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Stellenbosch University, South Africa .ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8344-6830
Number of Authors: 32019 (English)In: Biology Letters, ISSN 1744-9561, E-ISSN 1744-957X, Vol. 15, no 1, article id 20180701Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) is a controversial hypothesis claiming to explain variation in, and mechanistically determine, animal thermal limits. The lack of support from Insecta is typically argued to be a consequence of their high-performance respiratory systems. However, no studies have reported internal body oxygen levels during thermal ramping so it is unclear if changes in ambient gas are partially or fully offset by a compensatory respiratory system. Here we provide such an assessment by simultaneously recording haemolymph oxygen (pO(2)) levels-as an approximation of tissue oxygenation-while experimentally manipulating ambient oxygen and subjecting organisms to thermal extremes in a series of thermolimit respirometry experiments using pupae of the butterfly Pieris napi. The main results are that while P. napi undergo large changes in haemolymph pO(2) that are positively correlated with experimental oxygen levels, haemolymph pO(2) is similar pre-and post-death during thermal assays. OCLTT predicts that reduction in body oxygen level should lead to a reduction in CTmax. Despite finding the former, there was no change in CTmax across a wide range of body oxygen levels. Thus, we argue that oxygen availability is not a functional determinant of the upper thermal limits in pupae of P. napi.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 15, no 1, article id 20180701
Keywords [en]
abiotic stress, metabolism, mitochondria, trachea, respirometry
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-166845DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0701ISI: 000456789800011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-166845DiVA, id: diva2:1294408
Available from: 2019-03-07 Created: 2019-03-07 Last updated: 2019-03-07Bibliographically approved

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