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What is the effect of temperature on enzymes in poiklotherms

  1. Aug 13, 2016 #1
    Since enzymes have particular temperature on which they are able to catalyze the reaction and increasing the temperature above optimum can damage enzymes then how does poiklotherms survive as they change their body temperature according to environment unlike homoiothems. Also wouldn't their metabolism stops on increased temperature?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2016 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Poikilotherms have slower reaction times at lower temperatures, faster at higher temperatures. The Q10 factor applies here. This is why reptiles "sunbathe" in the morning, in order to raise internal temps closer to an optimum value, for example. So: no, the poikilotherms avoid extremes that would be fatal. Some adapt to cold, like the Alaska Tree Frog which can remain solidly frozen, thaw, and resume being a frog.

    Desert reptiles avoid the extreme heat of day, staying underground in rodent burrows. Or buried 2-3 cm under the loose sandy soils. With a soil surface temperature >45°C the temperature 3 cm down in the soil column can be 15°C cooler.

    So there are metabolic changes, as well as behaviors to cope with temperatures that are otherwise fatal.

    FWIW - Temperature optimums are species specific.
  4. Aug 13, 2016 #3


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  5. Aug 14, 2016 #4
    Now I understood. Thank you both of you
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