Respiration and Gills: What Factors Affect Respiration in an Aquatic Environment? *

Areas of Science Zoology
Difficulty
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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Abstract

During metabolism, organisms experience physical and chemical changes. All animals need some way to exchange chemical waste generated during metabolism for fresh nutrients. One way that these metabolic chemicals are exchanged is during respiration, the process by which used carbon dioxide gas is exchanged with fresh oxygen and circulated throughout the body. How do organisms living underwater respirate? They use gills, which filter oxygen from the water and pass the oxygen into the bloodstream. You can measure the rate of respiration of a goldfish by counting the number of gill movements over a defined period of time. Using goldfish, you can design experiments to test the effect of different environmental conditions on respiration. Some environmental conditions that could be tested are: temperature, salinity, oxygenation, toxicity or acidity. (Dashefsky, 1995, 82-84; VanCleave, 1993, 133-137.) Goldfish tolerate some environmental changes better than others. To avoid killing the goldfish, research their environmental tolerances before experimenting; when in doubt, make small incremental changes, making sure to observe their reactions prior to making larger changes.

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MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Respiration and Gills: What Factors Affect Respiration in an Aquatic Environment?" Science Buddies, 28 July 2017, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Zoo_p031/zoology/gills-aquatic-respiration. Accessed 18 Nov. 2019.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2017, July 28). Respiration and Gills: What Factors Affect Respiration in an Aquatic Environment? Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Zoo_p031/zoology/gills-aquatic-respiration


Last edit date: 2017-07-28

Bibliography

  • Dashefsky, H.S. 1995. Zoology: 49 Science Fair Projects. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
  • VanCleave, J. 1993. Janice VanCleave's A+ Projects in Biology. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Experimental Procedure

For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk (*) at the end of the title.

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