Allometric relationship of postmolt net ion uptake, ventilation, and circulation in the freshwater crayfish Procambarus clarkii: Intraspecific scaling

F. P. Zanotto, M. G. Wheatly, C. L. Reiber, A. T. Gannon, E. Jalles-Filho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


There are few intraspecific studies relating physiological parameters to body mass. This study relates scaling of ionic regulation and respiratory parameters with body mass in crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). These animals were chosen because of their direct development, spanning four orders of magnitude in body mass. Usually, these animals are hyperregulators and must maintain hemolymph electrolyte levels above those in the ambient freshwater. This is especially important in the postmolt, when ion imbalance can occur. Maintaining hemolymph ion levels above ambient involves active processes that are independently related to metabolic rate, ventilation, and circulation. Therefore, this study investigates relationships among size and ionic regulation, heart rate, and ventilation in crayfish, spanning a size range of 0.003-24 g. Postmolt net ion uptake of Ca, titratable base, Na, Cl, and NH 4 increase with body mass (positive allometry) with slopes of 0.92, 0.79, 0.90, 0.84, and 0.87, respectively. Between 72% and 97% of variation in ionic regulation was related to body mass. The slopes differed from each other for Ca and titratable base but not for Na, Cl, and NH4. For heart rate and ventilation rate, different relationships were derived for animals smaller and larger than 0.01 g (between first and third instar). Animals larger than 0.01 g show a negative allometric relationship between heart rate and body size ([body mass]0.15), while smaller animals show positive allometry with body size, but only 29% of variation in heart rate is explained by body size alone. For ventilation rates, the negative allometry with body size for animals larger than 0.01 g is present, but less than 15% of variation in ventilation rate is explained by size, while for smaller animals the size dependency disappears. Based on these results, predictions of physiological parameters such as ionic regulation based on body size are useful in crayfish, but estimates of respiratory parameters and body size should be used with caution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiological and Biochemical Zoology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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