Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

The effect of temperature and salinity acclimation on the respiration rate of a marine polychaete, Serpula vermicularis L.

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  • In January 1970, collections of Serpula vermicularis L. were obtained from Bray Point, Oregon, for the purpose of determining the effect of acclimation to salinity and temperature on its rate of respiration. The worms were removed from their tubes and acclimated to one of three salinities (28.8%₀, 31.1%₀, or 35.9%₀) and one of two temperatures (10°C or 15°C). Following a two-week acclimation period, measurements of the rates of respiration were made at 10°C, 15°C, 20°C, 25°C, and 30°C. The results of these measurements revealed that acclimation to salinity has no effect on the rate of respiration of Serpula vermicularis. This indicates that the serpulids had undergone complete compensation to these salinities. In comparing the rates of respiration of serpulids acclimated to different temperatures, it was found that the cold acclimated worms had higher rates of respiration than the warm acclimated worms at all experimental temperatures. The results of acclimation to temperature might be used to compare serpulids from different geographical areas. Perhaps such experiments would enable the researcher to gain insight into the variability of temperature regimes in different geographical locations by measuring the rates of respiration of serpulids collected in these areas.
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