oa African Zoology - Aspects of the respiratory Physiology and Oxygen preference of four Aquatic Oligochaetes (Annelida)

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Certain aquatic Oligochaeta live successfully in organic-polluted waters while others can-not tolerate such conditions. Tubifex Templetoni Southern and Limnodrilus Hoffmeisteri (Clap.), two non-gilled species, are compared to Branchlura sowerbyl (Beddard) and Dero nivea (Aiyer), two gilled species, concerning their haemoglobin concentration, the influence of low oxygen availability on the respiration rate and their reactions in an oxygen gradient. In contrast with L. Hoffmeister; and T. Templetonl where a very narrow range of respiration dependency (pO 0-12 mm Hg) is found, B. Sowerbyl and Dero nivea have a level of respiratory dependence from pOl0-131 mm Hg. Haemoglobin concentrations are 6,238 - and 6,452 g/100 cm blood in L. Hoffmeister; and T. Templetoni and 3,011 and 1,611 1/100 cm in B. Sowerbyi and D. Nivea respectively. In the oxygen gradient all four species have a preference for water with high oxygen content.

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