Discontinuous gas exchange in insects: Is it all in their heads?

Matthews, Philip G. D. and White, Craig R. (2011) Discontinuous gas exchange in insects: Is it all in their heads?. American Naturalist, 177 1: 130-134. doi:10.1086/657619

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Author Matthews, Philip G. D.
White, Craig R.
Title Discontinuous gas exchange in insects: Is it all in their heads?
Journal name American Naturalist   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-0147
Publication date 2011-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1086/657619
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 177
Issue 1
Start page 130
End page 134
Total pages 5
Place of publication Chicago IL, United States
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract Some insects display an intermittent pattern of gas exchange while at rest, often going hours between breaths. These discontinuous gas exchange cycles (DGCs) are known to have evolved independently within five insect orders, but their possible adaptive benefit and evolutionary origin remain an enigma. Current research is primarily concerned with testing three adaptive hypotheses: that DGCs originally evolved or are currently maintained to (1) limit respiratory water loss, (2) enhance gas exchange in subterranean environments, or (3) limit oxidative damage. These adaptive explanations fail to unite a range of apparently contradictory observations regarding the insects that display DGCs and the conditions under which they occur. Here we argue that DGCs are explained by circadian, developmental, or artificially induced reductions in brain activity. We conclude that this pattern results from the thoracic and abdominal ganglia regulating ventilation in the absence of control from higher neural centers, and it is indicative of a sleeplike state. © 2010 by The University of Chicago.
Keyword Brain
DGC (discontinuous gas exchange cycle)
Insect respiration
Periodic ventilation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 33 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 34 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 21 Jan 2011, 15:32:19 EST by Dr Craig White on behalf of School of Biological Sciences