Oxygen consumption by the mealworms

Average oxygen consumption by the mealworms was measured using a respirometer at three different temperature conditions cold, room and, warm. There was an increase in the oxygen uptake for all the treatments. Figure 1 shows that the oxygen was consumed at a very high rate in warm (32C) treatment. At first, after 2 minutes, the oxygen that was being used by the mealworms was low, which is 0.06 ml. The mean rate of oxygen then reached 0.89 ml after 16 minutes in the warm temperature. At room temperature 22 C, the oxygen utilization was 0.75 ml in 20 minutes. Mealworms consumed 0.5 ml of oxygen at the beginning of 12 C treatment, but only 0.24 ml was used at room temperature. The average consumption was 0.86 ml at 12 C temperature, which was higher than the room temperature in the same period of 20 minutes.


According to the hypothesis, the pace of cellular respiration increased when the conditions start getting warmer. The results of the warmer treatment confirmed that the rise in temperature leads to more oxygen uptake by mealworms. Cellular respiration involves metabolic reactions. The oxygen molecules in this procedure moved at high speed when they were in hot treatment due to the fact that they gained kinetic energy. More collisions happened, and a reaction took place, resulting in the consumption of the oxygen.

However, the results at a lower temperature also showed a growth in the respiration rate. Figure 1 shows that the oxygen consumption after 20 minutes at 12 C reached almost as close as the volume of oxygen in that of 32 C in 16 minutes. The oxygen consumption should have decreased because oxygen molecules do not have enough energy for excessive rates of respiration. The reason can be that the temperature kept fluctuating. The temperature increased in the cold-water treatment allowing the mealworms to consume more oxygen.

During the start of the experiment, the oxygen consumption was very high at 12 C than the 22 C and 32 C temperatures. When the timing was done initially, the experimental setup was not leveled. It allowed the reading measured in the pipette of a respirometer to move faster. Another reason for it could be that the temperature of the mealworms body was already high when placed in the vial. The mealworms body temperature, along with the temperature of the cold treatment, did not cause a more significant change to occur to affect oxygen consumption. So, the temperature was the most optimal for mealworms to consume oxygen.

The precision of results can be improved if the worms were allowed to be kept in the given treatment before starting the timing and setting the respirometer. It could permit them to modify heat levels. Also, the temperature should be maintained by keeping the water in water baths at the exact temperatures required.

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