Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 162, Issue 2, pp 144–147 | Cite as

The functional significance of ventilation frequency, and its relationship to oxygen demand in the resting brown long-eared bat, Plecotus auritus

  • P. I. Webb
  • G. C. Hays
  • J. R. Speakman
  • P. A. Racey


Mean oxygen consumption and simultaneous ventilation frequency of nine non-reproductive brown long-eared bats (body mass 8.53–13.33 g) were measured on 159 occasions. Ambient (chamber) temperature at which the measurements were made ranged from 10.8 to 41.1°C. Apneic ventilation occurred in 22 of the 59 measurements made when mean oxygen consumption was less than 0.5 ml·min-1. No records of apneic ventilation were obtained when it was over 0.5 ml·min-1. The relationship between ventilation frequency and mean oxygen consumption depended on whether ventilation was apneic or non-apneic. When ventilation was non-apneic the relationship was positive and log-linear. When ventilation was apneic the relationship was log-log. Within the thermoneutral zone ventilation frequency was not significantly different from that predicted from allometric equations for a terrestrial mammal of equivalent body mass, but was significantly greater than that predicted for a bird. A reduction in the amount of oxygen consumed per breath occurred at ambient temperatures above the upper critical temperature (39°C).

Key words

Ventilation frequency Oxygen consumption Apnea Respirometry Bat, Plecotus auritus 



relative humidity


chamber temperature


ventilation frequency


oxygen consumption


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. I. Webb
    • 1
  • G. C. Hays
    • 1
  • J. R. Speakman
    • 1
  • P. A. Racey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

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