How Does the Metabolic Rate in Mealworms Differ with High and Low Temperatures?

Margaret Loy, Elena Liebl, Emily Jenkins, Alyson Kain, Allison Bryant


This experiment tests how the metabolic rate of large mealworms, Tenebrio molitor, is affected by different ambient temperatures. Since they are ectothermic, we predicted that as the environmental temperature increases, the metabolic rate will also increase. This was tested by altering the outside temperature to 10°C, 24°C, and 29°C, putting 10 mealworms in a biochamber, then collecting their overall CO2 production. From this information, we calculated the average metabolic rate. The average metabolic rates at cold, room, and hot temperatures were 0.075, 0.35, and 0.34 ppm/s/g respectively. Based on our data, our hypothesis cannot be supported. There was an appropriate jump in metabolic rate from cold to room temperature, but the rate stayed consistent from room to the hot temperature. 

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