Letter | Published:

Effect of Temperature on the Metabolism of Poikilotherms

Naturevolume 212pages426428 (1966) | Download Citation



MOST terrestrial and intertidal poikilotherms are subjected to wide and relatively rapid fluctuations in environmental temperature. It has often been supposed that during such short term fluctuations, the metabolism of the poikilotherm must also fluctuate because acclimation is essentially a long term physiological adjustment. Such an assumption has been based primarily on studies of the activity and oxygen consumption of poikilotherms in relation to rapid temperature change. But measurements of the oxygen consumption of invertebrates have commonly been made by methods which sample the respired medium at infrequent intervals only, and this may have led to false conclusions concerning the effect of temperature on poikilotherm metabolism.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Fox, H. M., and Wingfield, C. A., J. Exp. Biol., 15, 437 (1938).

  2. 2

    Clark, A. J., Comparative Physiology of the Heart (Cambridge University Press, 1927).

  3. 3

    Gray, J., Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond., B, 95, 6 (1923).

  4. 4

    Pantin, C. F. A., J. Exp. Biol., 1, 519 (1924).

  5. 5

    Newell, R. C., and Northcroft, H. R., J. Zool., Lond. (in the press).

  6. 6

    Newell, R. C., and Northcroft, H. R., J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K., 45, 387 (1965).

  7. 7

    Courtney, W. A. M., and Newell, R. C., J. Exp. Biol., 43, 1 (1965).

  8. 8

    Hodgeboom, G. H., Schneider, W. C., and Palade, G. H., J. Biol. Chem., 172, 619 (1948).

Download references

Author information


  1. Department of Zoology, Queen Mary College, University of London

    • R. C. NEWELL


  1. Search for R. C. NEWELL in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.