Latent heat flux in animals

When the gradient of temperature between the body surface of an animal and the environment decreases, latent heat fluxes become important for maintenance of body temperature. These losses depend on a differential of vapour pressures between the ambient air and the expired air of the animal (Maia et al. 2005). These losses can occur by respiration and cutaneous evaporation. The importance and contribution of respiration and cutaneous evaporation differ between species (Da Silva and Maia 2013). For instance, around 76 % of total latent heat flux in poultry can be attributed to respiration (Richards 1976) and the exposure of cattle to high temperatures can lead to an exponential increase of latent heat losses (both respiratory and cutaneous) (Maia et al. 2005).

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