Respiratory, ventilatory, and cardiovascular responses to experimental anaemia in the starry flounder, Platichthys stellatus.

C. M. Wood, B. R. McMahon, D. G. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Unrestrained, quiescent starry flounder maintained approximately normal levels of O2 uptake in the face of severe experimental anaemia. At haematocrits above about 5%, the only major compensation was a reduction in venous O2 tension which lowered venous saturation and thereby kept a constant difference between arterial and venous O2 contents. Below a haematocrit of about 5%, this difference decreased, and many additional compensations were invoked, including increases in ventilation, expired O2 tension, arterial O2 tension, and cardiac output, and decreases in systemic vascular resistance and blood pH. All changes could be reversed by restoration of haematocrit. Exercise performance and post-exercise changes in blood pH and lactate differed only slightly between anaemic and normal flounder. In wild flounder, anaemia commonly occurs and apparently only causes death at the haematocrit value (about 5%) below which most major compensations are implemented. The respiratory strategy of the flounder during anaemia is compared with that of the rainbow trout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-162
Number of pages24
JournalThe Journal of experimental biology
StatePublished - Oct 1979


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science

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