Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Influence of temperature changes on oxygen uptake and ammonia and phosphate excretion, in relation to body size and weight, in Oikopleura dioica (Appendicularia)

  • 154 Accesses

  • 26 Citations


The relationship between the rates of oxygen consumption, ammonia and phosphate excretion of a pelagic tunicate, the larvacean Oikopleura dioica Fol, 1872 were assessed as a function of size, dry weight and ash-free dry weight at 15°, 20° and 24°C. O. dioica has higher respiration and excretion rates than copepods of similar weight, but the weight exponent of the allometric power function: Y=aX b is similar to that of other poikilotherms. Temperatures above 20°C have a depressing effect on respiration and ammonia excretion. 90% of the variance in metabolic rates is explainable by body mass and temperatures Q10 values for oxygen consumption, ammonia and phosphate excretion, respectively, are 2.45, 1.86 and 1.75 between 15° and 20°C, and 3.75, 2.90 and 3.60 between 20° and 24°C. Metabolic quotients (O:N, O:P, N:P) indicate a protein-oriented diet. The results of this study suggest weak metabolic regulation in O. dioica, an energetic strategy which allows an immediate response to favourable changes in feeding conditions.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Literature cited

  1. Alldredge, A.: Appendicularians. Scient. Am. 235, 95–102 (1976)

  2. Alldredge, A.: The impact of appendicularian grazing on natural food concentration in situ. Limnol. Oceanogr. 26, 247–257 (1981)

  3. Biggs, D. C.: Respiration and ammonium excretion by open ocean gelatinous zooplankton. Limnol. Oceanogr. 22, 108–117 (1977)

  4. Calder, W. A., III: Size and metabolism in natural systems. Can. Bull. Fish. aquat. Sciences 213, 65–75 (1985)

  5. Conover, R. J.: The feeding behaviour and respiration of some marine planktonic Crustacea. Biol. Bull. mar. biol. Lab., Woods Hole 119, 399–415 (1960)

  6. Curl, H., Jr.: Standing crops of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, and transfer between trophic levels, in continental shelf waters south of New York. Rapp. P.-v. Réun. Cons. perm. int. Explor. Mer 153, 183–189 (1962)

  7. Fenaux, R.: Les appendiculaires Faune de l'Europe et du bassin Méditerranéen, 116 pp. Paris: Masson 1967

  8. Fenaux, R.: La couche oikoplastique de l'appendiculaire Oikopleura albicans Leuck. Z. Morph. Tiere 69, 310–319 (1971)

  9. Fenaux, R.: Cycle vital d'un appendiculaire: Oikopleura dioica Fol, 1872. Description et chronologie. Annls Inst. océanogr., Paris (N.S.) 52, 89–101 (1976)

  10. Fenaux, R.: Life history of the appendicularians (Genus Oikopleura). In: Proceedings of Symposium on Warm Water Zooplankton, pp 497–510. Goa: National Institute of Oceanography 1977

  11. Fenaux, R.: Rhythm of secretion of oikopleurid's houses. Bull. mar. Sci. 37, 498–503 (1985)

  12. Fenaux, R. et G. Gorsky: Techniques d'élevage des Appendiculaires. Annls Inst. océanogr. Paris (N.S.) 55, 195–200 (1979)

  13. Fenaux, R. et G. Gorsky: Nouvelle technique d'élevage des appendiculaires. Rapp. P.-v. Réun. Commn int. Explor. scient. Mer Méditerr. 29, 291–292 (1985)

  14. Fenaux, R. et B. Hirel: Cinétique du déploiement de la logette chez l'appendiculaire Oikopleura dioica Fol, 1872. C. r. hebd. Séanc. Acad. Sci., Paris 275, 449–452 (1972)

  15. Fenaux, R. et I. Palazzoli: Importance de la biomasse des appendiculaires pour évaluer leur rôle dans le réseau trophique du milieu pélagique. Rapp. P.-v. Réun. Commn int. Explor. scient. Mer Méditerr. 28, 91–193 (1983)

  16. Gaudy, R.: Contribution à la connaissance du cycle biologique et de la physiologie des copépodes du golfe de Marseille, 294 pp. Thèse, Marseille-Luminy 1970

  17. Gaudy, R. and J. Boucher: Relation between respiration, excretion (ammonia and inorganic phosphorus) and activity of amylase and trypsin indifferent species of pelagic copepods from an Indian Ocean equatorial area. Mar. Biol. 75, 37–45 (1983)

  18. Glass, N. R.: A technique for fitting nonlinear models to biological data. Ecology 48, 1010–1013 (1967)

  19. Glass, N. R.: Discussion of calculation of power function with special reference to respiratory metabolism in fish. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 28, 2643–2650 (1969)

  20. Gorsky, G., F. S. Fisher, and S. W. Fowler: Biogenic debris from the pelagic tunicate, O. dioica and its role in the vertical transport of a transuranium element. Estuar., cstl Shelf Sci. 18, 13–23 (1984a)

  21. Gorsky, G., I. Palazzoli et R. Fenaux: Premières données sur la respiration des appendiculaires (tuniciers pélagiques). C. r. hebd. Séanc. Acad. Sci., Paris 298, 531–535 (1984b)

  22. Hemmingsen, A. M.: Energy metabolism as related to body size and respiratory surfaces, and its evolution. Rep. Steno meml Hosp. 9, 1–110 (1960)

  23. Heron, A. C.: Population ecology of a colonizing species: the pelagic tunicate Thalia democratica. I. Individual growth and generation time. Oecologia (Berl.) 10, 269–293 (1972)

  24. Ikeda, T.: Nutritional ecology of marine zooplankton. Mem. Fac. Fish. Hokkaido Univ. 22, 1–97 (1974)

  25. Ikeda, T.: The effect of laboratory conditions on the extrapolation of experimental measurements to the ecology of marine zooplankton. IV. Changes in respiration and excretion rates of boreal zooplankton species maintained under fed and starved conditions. Mar. Biol. 41, 241–252 (1977)

  26. Ivleva, I. V.: The dependence of crustacean respiration rate on body mass and habitat temperature. Int. Revue ges. Hydrobiol. 65, 1–47 (1980)

  27. King, K. R., J. T. Hollibaugh and F. Azam: Predator-prey interactions between the larvacean Oikopleura dioica and bacterioplankton in enclosed water columns. Mar. Biol. 56, 49–57 (1980)

  28. Le Borgne, R. P.: Etude de la respiration et de l'excrétion d'azote et de phosphore des populations zooplanctoniques, de l'upwelling mauritanien (mars-avril, 1972). Mar. Biol. 19, 249–257 (1973)

  29. Lohmann, H.: Das Gehäuse der Appendicularien nach seiner Bildungsweise, seinem Bau und seiner Funktion. Zool. Anz. 22, 206–214 (1899)

  30. Lohmann, H.: Die Gehäuse und Gallertblasen der Appendicularien und hhre Bedeutung für die Erforschung des Lebens im Meer. Verh. dt. zool. Ges. 19, 200–239 (1909)

  31. Madin, L. P., C. M. Cetta and V. L. McAlister: Elemental and biochemical composition of salps (Tunicata: Thaliacea). Mar. Biol. 63, 217–226 (1981)

  32. Miller, C. A. and M. R. Landry: Ingestion-independent rates of ammonium excretion by the copepod Calanus pacificus. Mar. Biol. 78, 265–270 (1984)

  33. Nival, P., G. Malara, R. Charra, I. Palazzoli et S. Nival: Etude de la respiration et de l'excrétion de quelques copépodes planctoniques (Crustacea) dans la zone de remontée d'eau profonde des côtes Marocaines. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 15, 231–260 (1974)

  34. Paffenhöfer, G. A.: The cultivation of an appendicularian through numerous generations. Mar. Biol. 22, 183–185 (1973)

  35. Paffenhöfer, G. A.: On the biology of Appendicularia of the southeastern North Sea, Proc. 10th Eur. mar. Biol. Symp. 2, 437–455 (1976). (Ed. by G. Persoone and E. Jaspers. Wetteren, Belgium: Universa Press)

  36. Ricker, W. E.: Linear regressions in fishery research. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 30, 409–434 (1973)

  37. Ryland, J. S.: The feeding of plaice and sand-eel larvae in the southern North Sea. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 44, 343–364 (1964)

  38. Seki, H.: Red tide of Oikopleura in Saanich Inlet. La Mer (Bull. Soc. franco-jap. Océanogr.) 2, 153–158 (1963)

  39. Shelbourne, J. E.: A predator-prey size relationship for plaice larvae feeding on Oikopleura. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 42, 243–252 (1962)

  40. Slawyk, G. and J. J. McIsaac: Comparison of two automated ammonium methods in a region of coastal upwelling. Deep-Sea Res. 19, 521–524 (1972)

  41. Sokal, R. R. and F. J. Rohlf: Biometry. The principles and practice of statistics in biological research, 2nd ed. 859 pp. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman & Co. 1981

  42. Taguchi, S.: Seasonal study of fecal pellets and discarded houses of Appendicularia in a subtropical inlet, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Estuar., cstl Shelf Sci. 14, 545–555 (1982)

  43. Torres, J. J. and J. J. Childress: Relationship of oxygen consumption to swimming speed in Euphausia pacifica. I. Effects of temperature and pressure. Mar. Biol. 74, 79–86 (1983)

  44. Vacelet, E.: La consommation d'oxygène du copépode Tigriopus fulvus (Fisher), Recl Trav. Stn mar. Endoume 36, 111–113 (1961)

  45. Vidal, J.: Physioecology of zooplankton. III. Effects of phytoplankton concentration, temperature, and body size on the metabolic rate of Calanus pacificus. Mar. Biol. 56, 195–202 (1980)

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Communicated by J. M. Pérès, Marseille

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gorsky, G., Palazzoli, I. & Fenaux, R. Influence of temperature changes on oxygen uptake and ammonia and phosphate excretion, in relation to body size and weight, in Oikopleura dioica (Appendicularia). Mar. Biol. 94, 191–201 (1987).

Download citation


  • Respiration
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Oxygen Uptake
  • Depressing Effect
  • Metabolic Regulation