Respiratory stratagems, mechanisms, and morphology of the 'lung' of a tropical swamp worm, Alma emini Mich. (Oligochaeta: Glossoscolecidae): A transmission and scanning electron microscope study, with field and laboratory observations

J. N. Maina, G. M O Maloiy, C. M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The swamp worm Alma emini subsists in the highly productive waterlogged swamps around the East African Lake Victoria. The soil consists of putrefying plant matter from which gases like methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulphide are formed and profusely discharged. The interstitial spaces in the soil are generally anoxic and the soil is highly reducing. To survive in such an inimical habitat, Alma has evolved a remarkably unique respiratory strategy. The posterodorsal part of the body, which is well supplied with blood, is regularly converted into a 'lung' across which gases are exchanged at the surface or under water. Air and/or water may be entrapped in the 'lung' and carried for use (as a source of oxygen and/or a depository of carbon dioxide) during the ensuing underground sojourn. By evolving a unique respiratory potential, Alma emini has been able to flourish in a highly dynamic and virtually anoxic habitat while essentially having a capacity for aerobic biochemistry. Putative indications of cellular adaptations against hydrogen sulphide toxicity were observed, especially in the cells that line the 'lung'. A. emini presents a good example of nature's tenacious and innovative designs for surviving in severe environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-495
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Zoology
Volume245
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

Fingerprint

Glossoscolecidae
transmission electron microscopes
Oligochaeta
swamps
scanning electron microscopes
swamp
hydrogen sulfide
lungs
electron
carbon dioxide
gases
soil
Lake Victoria
biochemistry
habitat
habitats
gas
methane
water
blood

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Alma emini
  • Morphology
  • Respiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

@article{5f6713b8ec4c4d188b7a1838749c8aa9,
title = "Respiratory stratagems, mechanisms, and morphology of the 'lung' of a tropical swamp worm, Alma emini Mich. (Oligochaeta: Glossoscolecidae): A transmission and scanning electron microscope study, with field and laboratory observations",
abstract = "The swamp worm Alma emini subsists in the highly productive waterlogged swamps around the East African Lake Victoria. The soil consists of putrefying plant matter from which gases like methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulphide are formed and profusely discharged. The interstitial spaces in the soil are generally anoxic and the soil is highly reducing. To survive in such an inimical habitat, Alma has evolved a remarkably unique respiratory strategy. The posterodorsal part of the body, which is well supplied with blood, is regularly converted into a 'lung' across which gases are exchanged at the surface or under water. Air and/or water may be entrapped in the 'lung' and carried for use (as a source of oxygen and/or a depository of carbon dioxide) during the ensuing underground sojourn. By evolving a unique respiratory potential, Alma emini has been able to flourish in a highly dynamic and virtually anoxic habitat while essentially having a capacity for aerobic biochemistry. Putative indications of cellular adaptations against hydrogen sulphide toxicity were observed, especially in the cells that line the 'lung'. A. emini presents a good example of nature's tenacious and innovative designs for surviving in severe environments.",
keywords = "Adaptation, Alma emini, Morphology, Respiration",
author = "Maina, {J. N.} and Maloiy, {G. M O} and Wood, {C. M.}",
year = "1998",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1017/S0952836998008127",
language = "English",
volume = "245",
pages = "483--495",
journal = "Journal of Zoology",
issn = "0952-8369",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Respiratory stratagems, mechanisms, and morphology of the 'lung' of a tropical swamp worm, Alma emini Mich. (Oligochaeta

T2 - Glossoscolecidae): A transmission and scanning electron microscope study, with field and laboratory observations

AU - Maina, J. N.

AU - Maloiy, G. M O

AU - Wood, C. M.

PY - 1998/1/1

Y1 - 1998/1/1

N2 - The swamp worm Alma emini subsists in the highly productive waterlogged swamps around the East African Lake Victoria. The soil consists of putrefying plant matter from which gases like methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulphide are formed and profusely discharged. The interstitial spaces in the soil are generally anoxic and the soil is highly reducing. To survive in such an inimical habitat, Alma has evolved a remarkably unique respiratory strategy. The posterodorsal part of the body, which is well supplied with blood, is regularly converted into a 'lung' across which gases are exchanged at the surface or under water. Air and/or water may be entrapped in the 'lung' and carried for use (as a source of oxygen and/or a depository of carbon dioxide) during the ensuing underground sojourn. By evolving a unique respiratory potential, Alma emini has been able to flourish in a highly dynamic and virtually anoxic habitat while essentially having a capacity for aerobic biochemistry. Putative indications of cellular adaptations against hydrogen sulphide toxicity were observed, especially in the cells that line the 'lung'. A. emini presents a good example of nature's tenacious and innovative designs for surviving in severe environments.

AB - The swamp worm Alma emini subsists in the highly productive waterlogged swamps around the East African Lake Victoria. The soil consists of putrefying plant matter from which gases like methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulphide are formed and profusely discharged. The interstitial spaces in the soil are generally anoxic and the soil is highly reducing. To survive in such an inimical habitat, Alma has evolved a remarkably unique respiratory strategy. The posterodorsal part of the body, which is well supplied with blood, is regularly converted into a 'lung' across which gases are exchanged at the surface or under water. Air and/or water may be entrapped in the 'lung' and carried for use (as a source of oxygen and/or a depository of carbon dioxide) during the ensuing underground sojourn. By evolving a unique respiratory potential, Alma emini has been able to flourish in a highly dynamic and virtually anoxic habitat while essentially having a capacity for aerobic biochemistry. Putative indications of cellular adaptations against hydrogen sulphide toxicity were observed, especially in the cells that line the 'lung'. A. emini presents a good example of nature's tenacious and innovative designs for surviving in severe environments.

KW - Adaptation

KW - Alma emini

KW - Morphology

KW - Respiration

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0031712139&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0031712139&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S0952836998008127

DO - 10.1017/S0952836998008127

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0031712139

VL - 245

SP - 483

EP - 495

JO - Journal of Zoology

JF - Journal of Zoology

SN - 0952-8369

IS - 4

ER -