Osmoregulation in Invertebrates

Abstract

Osmoregulation ensures that a correct balance of salts and water is maintained inside an animal, both in the circulating fluids (blood), and within the cells. It plays a major role in the achievement of homeostasis, especially in freshwater and terrestrial invertebrates.

Keywords: ionic exchange; salt uptake; water balance; permeability; excretory organs

Figure 1.

Schematic design of an osmoregulatory/excretory organ, showing major concentration effects.

Figure 2.

Patterns of osmoregulation and osmoconformity in aquatic invertebrates.

Figure 3.

Key mechanisms for regulating blood and cell concentrations during changes of salinity.

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Further Reading

Dejours P, Bolis L, Taylor CR and Weibel ER (eds) (1987) Comparative Physiology: Life in Water and on Land. Padva: Liviana Press.

Gaede K and Knülle W (1997) On the mechanism of water vapour sorption from unsaturated atmospheres by ticks. Journal of Experimental Biology 200: 1491–1498.

Gibbs AG (1998) Waterproofing properties of cuticular lipids. American Zoologist 38: 471–482.

Greger R (1988) NaCl Transport in Epithelia. Berlin: Springer.

Hadley NF (1994) Water Relations of Terrestrial Arthropods. New York: Academic Press.

Kinne RKH (1993) The role of organic osmolytes in osmoregulation; from bacteria to mammals. Journal of Experimetal Zoology 265: 346–355.

Pequeux A, Gilles R and Marshall WS (1988) NaCl transport in gills and related structures. Advances in Comparative Environmental Physiology 1: 1–73.

Ruppert EE and Smith PR (1988) The functional organisation of filtration nephridia. Biological Reviews 63: 231–258.

Somero GN, Osmond CB and Bolis CL (eds) (1992) Water and Life. Berlin: Springer.

Strange K (1994) Cellular and Molecular Physiology of Cell Volume Regulation. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Willmer PG, Stone GN and Johnston IA (2005) Environmental Physiology of Animals. 2nd edn Oxford: Blackwell.

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How to Cite close
Willmer, Pat(Apr 2006) Osmoregulation in Invertebrates. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003646]