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Physiol Biochem Zool. 2001 Nov-Dec;74(6):798-822.

On the mound of Macrotermes michaelseni as an organ of respiratory gas exchange.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, Syracuse, NY, 13210, USA. jsturner@mailbox.syr.edu

Abstract

Patterns and rates of air movements in the mounds and nests of Macrotermes michaelseni were studied using tracer methods. Wind is a significant source of energy for powering nest ventilation, despite the mound being a completely enclosed structure. Nests are ventilated by a tidal movement of air driven by temporal variation in wind speed and wind direction. Density gradients sufficiently steep to drive bulk flow by natural convection will be rare. However, metabolism-induced buoyant forces may interact with wind energy in a way that promotes homeostasis of the mound atmosphere.

PMID:
11731972
DOI:
10.1086/323990
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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