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Measuring Metabolic RatesA Manual for Scientists$
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John R. B. Lighton

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195310610

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195310610.001.0001

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Flow-Through Respirometry: Overview

Flow-Through Respirometry: Overview

(p.84) 8 Flow-Through Respirometry: Overview
Measuring Metabolic Rates

John R. B. Lighton

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the basic theory behind the most widely used method for measuring metabolic rates: flow-through or open-system respirometry. The advantages and disadvantages of the technique are summarized, and the two major types of flow-through respirometry systems are described. Recommendations are given on choosing an appropriate flow rate to compromise between speed of response and signal amplitude; on using mathematical techniques for compensating for first-order wash-out kinetics and avoiding mixing errors; the essential differences between oxygen and carbon dioxide analysis; choosing a data acquisition system; generating and measuring flow rates; compensating for water vapor; important tools; and checklists for deciding on system configuration for a given investigation.

Keywords:   response correction, washout, flow, open-flow respirometry

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