Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 159, Issue 5, pp 561–567 | Cite as

The effect of ambient temperature on the relationship between ventilation and metabolism in a small parrot (Agapornis roseicollis)

  • Theresa L. Bucher
  • Kenneth R. Morgan


Values for basal metabolism, standard tidal volume (VT), standard minute volume (\(\dot V_{\text{I}} \)), and mean extraction efficiency (EO2) in the thermal neutral zone (TNZ) inAgapornis roseicollis (1.84 ml·min−1; 0.95 ml·br−1, STPD; and 33.3 ml·min−1, STPD; and 22.5%; respectively) were all very similar to values for these parameters previously measured inBolborhynchus lineola, a similarly sized, closely related species from a distinctly different habitat.

Having both a lower critical temperature (Tlc) below and an upper critical temperature (Tuc) above those ofB. lineola, the TNZ ofA. roseicollis extended from 25° to at least 35°C. The thermal conductance below the TNZ ofA. roseicollis was 14% less than that ofB. lineola. Therefore, at 5°C the standard metabolic rate (SMR) of the former is 17% less than that of the latter, and at 35°C it is 20% less. At 5°CA. roseicollis has a lower EO2 and at 35°C a higher EO2 than that ofB. lineola. The patterns of resting energy metabolism and of ventilation ofA. roseicollis and ofB. lineola are consistent with the former species being better suited to living in a more variable thermal environment than the latter.

MeanVT has a weak positive correlation with the rate of oxygen consumption (\(\dot V{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} \)) at a constant ambient temperature (Ta) but a much stronger correlation when resting\(\dot V{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} \) increases in response to a decrease inTa.Vt is the only ventilatory parameter which is linearly correlated toTa from 35° to −25°C. The data suggest thatTa may have a regulatory effect onVT somewhat independent of\(\dot V{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} \) or\(\dot V_{\text{I}} \).

Key words

Ventilation Metabolism Parrots Respiration 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aschoff J (1981) Thermal conductance in mammals and birds: its dependence on body size and circadian phase. Comp Biochem Physiol 69A:611–619Google Scholar
  2. Aschoff J, Pohl H (1970) Der Ruheumsatz von Vögeln als Funktion der Tageszeit und der Körpergrösse. J Ornithol 111:38–47Google Scholar
  3. Bech C, Rautenberg W, May B (1985) Ventilatory oxygen extraction during cold exposure in the pigeon (Columba livia). J Exp Biol 116:499–502Google Scholar
  4. Bucher TL (1981) Oxygen consumption, ventilation and respiratory heat loss in a parrot,Bolborhynchus lineola, in relation to ambient temperature. J Comp Physiol 142:479–488Google Scholar
  5. Bucher TL (1983) Parrot eggs, embryos, and nestlings: patterns and energetics of growth and development. Physiol Zool 56:465–483Google Scholar
  6. Bucher TL (1985) Ventilation and oxygen consumption inAmazona viridigenalis: a reappraisal of ‘resting’ respiratory parameters in birds. J Comp Physiol B 155:269–276Google Scholar
  7. Bucher TL (1986) Ratios of hatchling and adult mass-independent metabolism: a physiological index to the altricial-precocial continuum. Resp Physiol 65:69–83Google Scholar
  8. Bucher TL, Bartholomew GA (1986) The early ontogeny of ventilation and homeothermy in an altricial bird,Agapornis roseicollis (Psittaciformes). Resp Physiol 65:197–212Google Scholar
  9. Bucher TL, Chappell MA (in press) Energy metabolism and patterns of ventilation in euthermic and torpid humming-birds. In: Reinertsen RE, Bech C (eds) Physiology of cold adaptation in birds. Plenum Press, New York, pp 187–197Google Scholar
  10. Calder WA (1968) Respiratory and heart rates of birds at rest. Condor 70:358–365Google Scholar
  11. Chappell MA, Bucher TL (1987) Effects of temperature and altitude on ventilation and gas exchange in chukars (Alectoris chukar). J Comp Physiol B157:129–136Google Scholar
  12. Clemens DT (1988) Ventilation and oxygen consumption in rosy finches and house finches at sea level and high altitude. J Comp Physiol B158:547–566Google Scholar
  13. Dawson WR, Bennett AF (1973) Roles of metabolic level and temperature regulation in the adjustment of Western Plumed Pigeons (Lophophaps ferruginae) to desert conditions. Comp Biochem Physiol A44:249–266Google Scholar
  14. Dawson WR, Marsh RL, Yacoe ME (1983) Metabolic adjustments of small passerine birds for migration and cold. Am J Physiol 245:R755-R767Google Scholar
  15. Forshaw JM (1973) Parrots of the world. Doubleday, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Heusner AA (1985) Body size and energy metabolism. Annu Rev Nutrition 5:267–293Google Scholar
  17. Johansen K, Bech C (1983) Heat conservation during cold exposure in birds (vasomotor and respiratory implications). Polar Res 1:259–268Google Scholar
  18. Lasiewski RC, Dawson WR (1967) A re-examination of the relation between standard metabolic rate and body weight in birds. Condor 69:13–23Google Scholar
  19. Lighton JRB (1988) A simple, sensitive and versatile solid-state pressure transducer. J Exp Biol 134:429–433Google Scholar
  20. Malan A (1973) Ventilation measured by body plethysmography in hibernating mammals and in poikilotherms. Resp Physiol 17:32–44Google Scholar
  21. Pinowski J, Kendeigh S (1977) Granivorous birds in ecosystems. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  22. Root T (1988) Energy constraints on avian distributions and abundances. Ecology 69:330–339Google Scholar
  23. Scholander PF, Hock R, Walters V, Johnson F, Irving L (1950) Heat regulation in some Arctic and tropical mammals and birds. Biol Bull 99:237–258Google Scholar
  24. Stahel CD, Nicol SC (1988) Comparison of barometric and pneumotachographic measurements of resting ventilation in the little penguin (Eudyptula minor). Comp Biochem Physiol 89A:387–390Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theresa L. Bucher
    • 1
  • Kenneth R. Morgan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of California, RiversideRiversideUSA

Personalised recommendations