Guidelines for the reporting of methods for estimating metabolic rates using aquatic intermittent closed respirometry
Interest in the measurement of metabolic rates is growing rapidly, due to the relevance of metabolism in understanding organismal physiology, behaviour, evolution, and responses to environmental change. The study of metabolism in aquatic organisms is experiencing an especially pronounced expansion, with more researchers utilizing intermittent-closed respirometry as a research tool than ever before. Despite this, there remain no published guidelines on the reporting of methodological details when using intermittent-closed respirometry. Using a survey of the existing literature, we show that this lack of recommendations has led to incomplete and inconsistent reporting of methods for intermittent-closed respirometry over the last several decades. We also provide the first guidelines for reporting such methods, in the form of a checklist of details that are the minimum required for the interpretation, evaluation, and replication of experiments using intermittent-closed respirometry. This should increase consistency of the reporting of methods for studies that use this research technique. With the steep increase in studies using intermittent-closed respirometry over the last several years, now is the ideal time to standardise the reporting of methods so that data can be properly assessed by other scientists and conservationists.