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Extreme Temperatures and Thermal Tolerance All organism have a range of tolerable body temperatures –Homeothermic endotherms – narrow range –Poikilothermic.

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Presentation on theme: "Extreme Temperatures and Thermal Tolerance All organism have a range of tolerable body temperatures –Homeothermic endotherms – narrow range –Poikilothermic."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Extreme Temperatures and Thermal Tolerance All organism have a range of tolerable body temperatures –Homeothermic endotherms – narrow range –Poikilothermic ectotherms – broad range Exceeding limit of thermal tolerance –DEATH!!!!!

3 Extreme Temperatures and Thermal Tolerance Factors influencing lethal exposure: Exposure Temperature –Degree to which temperature exceeds limits of tolerance Exposure Duration –Length of time to which organism is exposed to lethal temperature Individual Variation

4 Problems With High Temperature Denaturization of proteins –Structural and enzymatic Thermal inactivation of enzymes faster than rates of activation Inadequate O 2 supply to meet metabolic demands Different temperature effects on interdependent metabolic reactions (“reaction uncoupling”) Membrane structure alterations Increased evaporative water loss (terrestrial animals)

5 Problems with Low Temperatures Thermal inactivation of enzymes faster than rates of activation Inadequate O 2 supply to meet metabolic demands Different temperature effects on interdependent metabolic reactions (“reaction uncoupling”) Membrane structure alterations Freezing

6 Drastic reduction in gas diffusion –liquid water vs. solid water Drastic reduction in enzyme function –Reduced molecular mobility Structural disruption of enzymes Mechanical disruption of cell membranes Osmotic dehydration due to freezing of extracellular water –Most important factor

7 Dealing with Subfreezing Temperatures Supercooling –Freezing point depression Use of antifreeze Freeze tolerance

8 Supercooling Water does not usually freeze at 0 °C –Freezing involves ice crystallization –Can occur spontaneously below 0 °C –Water can remain liquid until crystallization occurs

9 Supercooling Supercooling can be enhanced by addition of solutes to an aqueous solution –  [solutes],  freezing point Freezing point depression –E.g. insects Produce high levels of glycerol Lowers freezing point Willow gallfly larvae can supercool to –60 °C

10 Antifreeze Antifreeze – substance that prevents ice crystal formation –thermal hysteresis - lowers freezing point but not melting point

11 Freeze Tolerance Ability to tolerate freezing of extracellular fluid –Must cope with… potential mechanical damage effects of dehydration Cryoprotectants –Substances that help animals avoid damage from freezing of body tissues –E.g. glycerol appears to stabilize cell membrane and protein structure

12 Freeze Tolerance Many freeze tolerant organisms have ice- nucleating agents –Promotes ice-crystal formation in the extracellular fluid Draws water out of the cells,  intracellular concentrations and  freezing point –Helps prevent crystal formation inside the cells Prevents mechanical damage

13 Thermal Adapation Different species have adapted to differences in temperature between species ranges

14 Thermal Acclimatization Acclimation and acclimatization are physiological changes in response to previous thermal history Exposure to warm temperatures increases heat tolerance, decreases cold tolerance Thermal tolerance of many species changes with seasonal changes in temperature

15 Mechanisms of Thermal Acclimatization and Adaptation Changes in enzyme systems –Changes in enzyme synthesis/degradation –Changes in use of specific isozymes –Modulation of enzyme activity by the intracellular environment Changes in membrane phospholipids –increase saturation of fatty acids with increased temperature –homeoviscous adaptation

16 Temperature Regulation Approaches to thermoregulation: Thermal conformity (poikilothermy) –allow body temperature to fluctuate with environmental temperature Thermoregulation (homeothermy) –Maintain body temperature at relatively constant levels largely independent of mean environmental temperature

17 Thermoregulation Methods Behavioral control –Controlling body temperature by repositioning body in the environment Physiological control –Neural responses (immediate) E.g. modification of blood flow to skin, sweating/panting, shivering, etc. –Acclimation responses (long-term) Changes in insulation, increased capacity got metabolic heat generation, etc.

18 Ectothermy Obtain body heat from external environment Environmental heat availability subject to change –Some thermally stable environments vary only 1-2 °C/year –Some highly variable environments 80 °C variation in one year –Most ectotherms must deal with some degree of temperature variation

19 Ectotherms and Cold Inactivity of enzyme systems –Cold-adapted species have enzymes that function at higher rates at lower temperatures Subfreezing Temperatures –Supercooling –Antifreezes –Freeze Tolerance

20 Ectotherms and Heat Problems associated with heat –Enzyme denaturization and pathway uncoupling –Elevated energy requirements –Reduced O 2 delivery affinity of Hb for O 2 decreases with increased temperature Critical Thermal Maximum (CTM) –Body temperature over which long-term survival is no longer possible

21 Ectotherms and Temperature Regulation Behavioral Regulation –Reposition body relative to heat sources in the thermal environment –Most widely used method Physiological Regulation –Redirect blood flow for increased heat gain-heat loss –Pigmentation changes absorb/reflect radiant heat

22 Ectothermy vs. Endothermy Ectothermy – low energy approach to life Pros –Less food required –Lower maintenance costs (more energy for growth and reproduction) –Less water required (lower rates of evaporation) –Can be small – exploit niches endotherms cannot. Cons –Reduced ability to regulate temperature –Reduced aerobic capacity – cannot sustain high levels of activity

23 Ectothermy vs. Endothermy Endothermy – high energy approach to life Pros –Maintain high body temperature in narrow ranges –Sustain high body temperature in cold environments –High aerobic capacity – sustain high levels of activity Cons –Need more food (energy expenditure 17x that of ectotherms) –More needed for maintenance, less for growth and reproduction –Need more water (higher evaporative water loss) –Must be big

24 Endotherms Generate most body heat physiologically Tend to be homeothermic –regulate body temperature (T b ) by adjusting heat production

25 Regional Homeothermy Core body temperature –Temperature at the interior of the body (thoracic and abdominal cavity, brain, etc.) –Maintained within narrow margins Peripheral body temperature –Temperature of integument, limbs, etc. –Tends to vary considerably

26 Metabolism vs. Ambient Temperature Thermal Neutral Zone –basal rate of heat production balances heat loss –No additional energy required to regulate temperature, just modification of thermal conductance Lower Critical Temperature –Temperature below which basal metabolism does not produce enough heat to balance heat loss Upper Critical Temperature –Temperature above which modifying thermal conductance cannot balance net heat gain

27 Below the Lower Critical Temperature… Zone of Metabolic Regulation –Increase in metabolism to increase heat production to balance increased heat loss –Shivering, BAT, etc. Hypothermia –Increased metabolic production cannot compensate for heat loss –T b decreases (as does metabolism)

28 Above the Upper Critical Temperature… Zone of Active Heat Dissipation –Animal increases activity to increase heat loss –Evaporative cooling Hyperthermia –Evaporative cooling cannot counteract heat gain –T b rises (as does metabolism) towards CTM

29 Endothermic Homeothermy in the Cold Endotherms respond to low ambient temperatures by: –Increasing heat production (thermogenesis) –Limiting heat loss

30 Thermogenesis Shivering –Rapid contractions in groups of antagonistic muscles –No useful work generated –Heat liberated by hydrolysis of ATP Non-shivering Thermogenesis –Enzyme systems activated that oxidize fats to produce heat –Virtually no ATP production

31 Non-shivering Thermogenesis Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) –Highly vascularized, with large numbers of mitochondria –Inner mitochondrial membranes contain thermogenin Allows H + to bypass ATP synthase Protons re-enter mitochondrial matrix and bind to O 2, generating heat and water –Heat absorbed by blood in vasculature and distributed throughout the body

32 Body Heat Retention Insulation –Fur/hair/feathers (pelage) Reduce effects of convection –Fat/blubber Lower thermal conductivity of integument Low metabolic activity (low perfusion needed) –Aggregration Reduce convection effects

33 Body Heat Retention Increased body size –  surface area/volume ratio –Generally thicker coats –Bergmann’s Rule  size w/  latitude

34 Body Heat Retention Circulation –Reduced skin perfusion Limit heat loss from blood –Countercurrent Exchange Heat transferred from arteries to veins Limit heat loss from extremities

35 Endothermic Homeothermy in the Heat Endotherms respond to high ambient temperatures by: 1.Limiting heat gain 2.Increasing heat dissipation

36 Limiting Heat Gain Increased Size –Large animals have large heat capacities and low surface area/volume ratios Take longer to heat up –Large animals tend to have thicker pelage Insulate body from external heating

37 Increasing Heat Dissipation Specific heat exchange surfaces –Enable heat loss through conduction/convection/radiation –Thin cuticle –Highly vascularized –Lightly insulated –Large surface areas –Allen’s Rule The warmer the climate, the larger the size of appendages

38 Evaporative Cooling Sweating –Extrusion of water through sweat glands onto the skin Panting –Evaporative cooling through the respiratory system surfaces

39 Sweating vs. Panting Sweating –Passive (little energy expenditure) –High salt loss –No convection –No effect on blood pH Panting –Active (requires muscle contraction) –No salt loss –Convection – increases cooling –Increased ventilation   pH

40 Panting and Brain Cooling Panting can cool brain during high levels of activity –Rete mirabile heat exchange between warm arterial blood and cooled venous blood from nasal cavity –Maintain brain temperature despite abnormally high body temperature


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