Effect of Temperature on the Rate of Oxygen Consumption during the Second Half of Embryonic and Early Postembryonic Development of European Pond Turtle Emys orbicularis (Reptilia: Emydidae)

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Oxygen consumption by eggs of European pond turtle was determined at two constant incubation temperatures of 25 and 28°C during the second half of embryogenesis. During development at both temperatures, the rate of oxygen consumption initially increased to remain constant during the last quarter of embryogenesis. The difference between the rates of oxygen consumption at these temperatures decreased during the studied period. The coefficient Q10 for the rate of oxygen consumption decreased from 9 to 1.7. At an incubation temperature of 28°C, the changes in the rate of oxygen consumption in response to a short-term temperature decrease to 25°C or increase to 30°C depended on the developmental stage and were most pronounced at the beginning of the studied period. During late embryonic and first 2.5 months of postembryonic development, the rate of oxygen consumption did not significantly differ after such temperature changes. The regulatory mechanisms formed during embryonic development are proposed to maintain the level of oxygen consumption during temperature changes.

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