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Author(s): Lou Gross1, Monica Beals1, Susan Harrell1

University of Tennessee Knoxville

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This module introduces the osmotic work equation in the context of understanding osmoregulation. It is intended for an introductory biology audience.

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 15 Feb 2019 doi:10.25334/Q43M9W - cite this


Student Introduction: Molecules passively diffuse from regions of high to low concentration. Aquatic animals are generally hyperosmotic to their surroundings: their internal solute concentration is much higher than their surroundings. Because of this, aquatic animals must develop physiological mechanisms to prevent excess flow of water into their bodies. They must also develop mechanisms to prevent the loss of solutes as excess water is excreted. The process by which organisms actively maintain their internal solute concentration is called osmoregulation. Animals must actively transport solutes from their surroundings into their blood against the concentration gradient.

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