he Effect of Gas Exchange on a Locusts' Breathing

he Effect of Gas Exchange on a Locusts' Breathing

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The Effect of Gas Exchange on a Locusts' Breathing

Aim- To see the effect of Carbon dioxide on a locusts' ventilation

Method- Since the locust was already in the 20cm³ plastic syringe held
in a clamp, our first step was to monitor its ventilation movements.
By looking at the abdomen, we could clearly see the ventilation
movements of the locust, which we counted for thirty seconds. We
repeated this three times under normal atmospheric conditions.

Our next task was to count the breathing rate again, yet this time
under a Carbon dioxide enhanced environment. We took a three way tap
and attached this to the end of the plastic syringe, also we removed
the piston and fitted loosely a small amount of cotton wool. In order
for the atmosphere surrounding the locust to have a higher Carbon
dioxide level, we attached a straw to the end of the tap, turning it
to an open position and breathed into it for approximately fifteen
seconds. We removed the straw and turned the three way tap back to a
closed position to stop the atmosphere changing. Once this was done,
we counted once more the ventilation rate of the locust for thirty
seconds, repeating three times.

Once we had gathered the results, we removed the three way tap and the
cotton wool, however we did not replace the piston. Instead, we
positioned our thumb where the piston should have been, resting over
the top of the plastic syringe so that the locust could not escape. We
then moved the syringe around the room for approximately two minutes
to allow the atmosphere to return to normal. Returning the piston back
to its position carefully so the locust did not get harmed, we then
counted the ventilation rate of the locust, again for a time of thirty
seconds for three successive periods.


Normal Atmosphere (no. of ventilation movements/30 sec)

+ Carbon dioxide

(no. of ventilation movements/ 30 sec)

Normal Atmosphere (no. of ventilation movements/30 sec)


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This is a graph to show what effect Carbon dioxide has on the
ventilation rate per thirty seconds:

We cannot be sure about the exact amount of Carbon dioxide in the
syringe, however we can make an approximation. We know that that the
atmosphere only contains 0.03% of Carbon dioxide and that
approximately, the locust takes up 10cm³ of the 20cm³ syringe. If we
divide 0.03 by 100 we get the amount of Carbon dioxide per 1cm³. Then
multiplying this by 10, we know that there is 0.003% of Carbon dioxide
in the 10cm³ space in which the locust is not consuming. Taking this
into consideration we can see if the number of ventilation movements
increase as the concentration of Carbon dioxide increases:



The first graph clearly shows us that the ventilation rate of the
locust did increase when the concentration of carbon dioxide
increases. This is because the lack of oxygen in the syringe effects
the locust and it needs to breathe in more oxygen by ventilating more
frequently and deeply to provide the cells of it's body with the
oxygen in needs.

We can see by the second graph, even though it is an approximation
that the ventilation rate increases in proportion to the increase of
Carbon dioxide/cm³.
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