How do vertebrates get the oxygen they need, or even manage without it for shorter or longer periods of time? How do they sense oxygen, how do they take it up from water or air, and how do they transport it to their tissues? Respiratory system adaptations allow numerous vertebrates to thrive in extreme environments where oxygen availability is limited or where there is no oxygen at all.
Written for students and researchers in comparative physiology, this authoritative summary of vertebrate respiratory physiology begins by exploring the fundamentals of oxygen sensing, uptake and transport in a textbook style. Subsequently, the reader is shown important examples of extreme respiratory performance, like diving and high altitude survival in mammals and birds, air breathing in fish, and those few vertebrates that can survive without any oxygen at all for several months, showing how evolution has solved the problem of life without oxygen.
Preface Goran E. Nilsson; Part I. General Principles: 1. Introduction - why we need oxygen Goran E. Nilsson; 2. Sensing oxygen Mikko Nikinmaa; 3. Oxygen uptake and transport in water breathers Steve F. Perry and Kathleen M. Gilmour; 4. Oxygen uptake and transport in air breathers Nini Skovgaard, James W. Hicks and Tobias Wang; Part II. Special Cases: 5. Adaptations to hypoxia in fishes Goran E. Nilsson and David J. Randall; 6. Breathing air in water and in air: the air-breathing fishes Jeffrey B. Graham and Nicholas C. Wegner; 7. Air breathers under water: diving mammals and birds Lars P. Folkow and Arnoldus Schytte Blix; 8. Vertebrate life at high altitude Frank L. Powell and Susan R. Hopkins; 9. Surviving without any oxygen Goran E. Nilsson; Index.
Goran E. Nilsson is Professor of Physiology at the Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Oslo, Norway. He has worked in the field of comparative respiratory physiology and neurobiology for more than 20 years, and contributed to over 150 scientific papers, books and book chapters.