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Animal Osmoregulation$
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Timothy J. Bradley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198569961

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198569961.001.0001

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Osmoconformers Osmoconformers

Osmoconformers Osmoconformers

(p.59) 5 Osmoconformers
Animal Osmoregulation

Timothy J. Bradley

Oxford University Press

In the marine environment, the vast majority of organisms are osmoconformers, meaning that all of their bodily fluids are in osmotic equilibrium with the surrounding seawater. If the salinity of the seawater should vary due to local precipitation or evaporation, the osmotic concentration of the organism's body fluids vary in concert with the change in environmental salinity. Although the organisms must osmoconform due to highly permeable body surfaces, they often regulate the ions in their blood, and always regulate the ions in their intracellular fluids. The osmoregulatory and/or ion regulatory mechanisms in echinoderms, mollusks, arthropods, hagfish, sharks, and a species of frog are provided to illustrate the diversity of organisms employing this regulatory strategy.

Keywords:   osmoconformers, marine invertebrates, ion regulation, salinity, compatible solutes

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