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Relative contributions of anaerobic and aerobic energy production during activity in amphibia

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  1. 1.

    Measurements of oxygen consumption and lactate production during activity were made in three species of amphibians. Oxygen debts and rates of lactate removal were also studied.

  2. 2.

    Maximal values of oxygen consumption are 200 and 500% above resting levels in the plethodontid salamanderBatrachoseps attenuatus and the frogHyla regilla, respectively (Kg. 1). However, these values are not attained until 5–15 min after the cessation of activity.

  3. 3.

    Batrachoseps, a lungless animal, derives 25 times more energy during 2 min of activity from lactate production than from oxygen consumption.Hyla is also predominantly anaerobic during activity butBufo boreas is mainly aerobic.

  4. 4.

    An inverse relationship exists between aerobic and anaerobic scopes in amphibians, such that total energetic output during activity is similar even though the component factors may differ by ten-fold.

  5. 5.

    Oxygen debts inHyla andBatrachoseps after 2-min activity are repayed in approximately one hour but rates of lactate removal are much lower (Fig. 2); large amounts of lactate persist long after oxygen consumption has returned to resting levels. Oxygen debt, therefore, cannot be used as an estimate of energetic expenditure during activity.

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Support for these studies was provided by a Miller Postdoctoral Fellowship to AFB and NSF Grant GB-35241X to PL. The technical assistance of John Ruben is gratefully acknowledged.

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Bennett, A.F., Licht, P. Relative contributions of anaerobic and aerobic energy production during activity in amphibia. J. Comp. Physiol. 87, 351–360 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00695269

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  • Oxygen
  • Lactate
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Inverse Relationship
  • Energy Production