Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 86, Issue 4, pp 323–330 | Cite as

The role of the gills in seawater adaptation inAnguilla dieffenbachii

III. The relative significance of the gills
  • T. J. Shuttleworth
  • R. F. H. Freeman


A comparison of results obtained in studies of serum concentrations in the whole fish with those obtained from preparations of isolated, perfused gills indicates that the rate at which ions are entering the gills of freshwaterAnguilla dieffenbachii on being placed in sea water may only amount to some 10% or less of the calculated rate of addition of ions to the fish as a whole. An additional major route for the entry of ions into the fish on being placed in sea water, other than via the gills, is therefore indicated and, from a consideration of the functioning of the main effector organs of ionic regulation in teleosts, it is concluded that the intestine is the major site of the initial addition of ions to the fish on transfer to sea water.

The subsequent reduction and eventual stabilisation of serum ionic concentrations following transfer can be largely explained on both a qualitative and temporal basis by the changes in functioning of the gills, as demonstrated by the isolated, perfused preparations.


Serum Concentration Ionic Concentration Major Site Subsequent Reduction Temporal Basis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. J. Shuttleworth
    • 1
  • R. F. H. Freeman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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