We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Respirometer?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A respirometer is a device which is used to measure respiration, where organisms exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen as part of their metabolism. These devices can be used to study plants and animals alike to learn more about their respiratory patterns, and to monitor the health of an individual organism, using known information about that organism as a baseline. Respirometers are sold by a number of scientific supply companies, and they are also improvised in lab environments, since the mechanics are relatively straightforward.

Whether measuring a whole organism or a sample, a respirometer needs to be sealed to collect valid information. The device can measure the consumption of oxygen or carbon dioxide, as well as the production of oxygen or carbon dioxide. This provides information about the respiration rate of the organism being studied, and it can also provide data about how respiration takes place. The environment inside the respirometer is tightly controlled and monitored to collect data without causing injury to the organism being studied.

Using a respirometer to obtain baseline measurements, researchers can see how changes in environmental or genetic factors can impact respiration. For example, the environment can be heated or chilled to see if this causes changes, or people can study the impact of various air mixtures which can mimic air at high altitudes, air at low altitudes, or air in certain environments. With organisms like fruit flies, genetic research can include the use of respirometers to collect data on genetically modified organisms.

These devices must be carefully monitored during use to avoid creating a dangerous situation inside the respirometer. If the space becomes filled with metabolic wastes, the organism may not be able to breathe, and conversely, if the organism uses up substances such as oxygen, it will be in danger. Tight controls of the environment ensure that people know exactly what the organism has taken up and put out while inside the respirometer.

Respirometry, a general field of study referring to the study of metabolic rates in various organisms, can include the use of a respirometer. In a respirometry lab, researchers have access to a number of pieces of equipment which can be used to study metabolic rates and various metabolic processes. Understanding how metabolism functions in healthy organisms can be important, especially when people start exploring metabolic errors and their causes. Most such equipment comes with detailed guides which show how it should be used and maintained for safety and data validity.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All The Science researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By amysamp — On Jun 30, 2011

As noted by the article, respirometers are often used in research and there are different types of respirometers for different fields and purposes. One that is noted for its advantage of having the volume measure directly read is a Gilson Respirometer. This respirometer measures oxygen consumption in tissue and oxygen consumption in small animals. Photosynthesis of plants can be studied via a Gilson respirometer as it measures the plants oxygen production.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.