Animals inhabiting aquatic habitats may often experience moderate to severe hypoxic conditions, since several ecological factors such as stratification, salinity, temperature, or plant and microbial respiration may reduce oxygen availability (36). T. crenata naturally experiences fluctuations of oxygen concentration throughout the day, and therefore, we tested the respiration of the animals at progressively lower environmental oxygen pressure (PO2). With the same experimental setup used to measure MO2, we determined the critical oxygen pressure (PO2crit), which represents the lowest oxygen pressure at which an oxyregulator species maintains a constant rate of oxygen consumption. PO2crit at 20°C was determined on seven animals previously acclimated in normoxia of oxygen saturation and seven previously acclimated in hyperoxia by progressively decreasing oxygen pressure. PO2crit was calculated as the breakpoint of the graph depicting the PO2/MO2 relationship adopting a Piecewise linear regression function (implemented with SigmaPlot v.11).

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