The key difference between osmoregulators and osmoconformers is that osmoregulators regulate the salt concentration by spending a high amount of energy while osmoconformers spend a very low amount of energy to regulate osmolarity.
Organisms that live in habitats with high salt concentrations need special techniques and adaptations to withstand the fluctuations of salt concentrations. Therefore, regulation of osmolarity is a vital aspect since it decides the fate of organisms living in such environments.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Osmoregulators
3. What are Osmoconformers
4. Similarities Between Osmoregulators and Osmoconformers
5. Side by Side Comparison – Osmoregulators vs Osmoconformers in Tabular Form
What are Osmoregulators?
Osmoregulators are organisms that firmly regulate their body osmotic pressure by actively controlling the salt concentrations within the body, irrespective of the salt concentration of external environment. Since they actively control the salt concentrations, they spend a high amount of energy. For example, freshwater fish maintain osmolarity through a special mechanism. To be more specific, their gills actively take up salt from the environment with the help of cells that are rich with mitochondria.
Thus, this mechanism results in diffusion of water into the cells. As a result, their bodies produce hypotonic urine that expels excess water from the body. Some marine organisms are osmoregulators since they expel excess salts from the gills.
What are Osmoconformers?
Osmoconformers are organisms that live in the marine environment and have the ability to maintain the internal body osmotic pressure, irrespective of the external environment.
In other words, this is as an adaptation that maintains the osmolarity of the organisms’ cells equal to the osmolarity of the external environment. Furthermore, most marine invertebrates are osmoconformers.
It is noteworthy that osmoconformers do not need to spend a high amount of energy to regulate the ion gradients, unlike osmoregulators. This is because transportation of the required ions to the necessary locations requires only a limited amount of energy.
What are the Similarities Between Osmoregulators and Osmoconformers?
- Osmoregulators and osmoconformers are two categories that include aquatic organisms are present in these two categories.
- Both are present in marine environments.
- Both osmoregulators and osmoconformers involve regulations of salt concentration.
What is the Difference Between Osmoregulators and Osmoconformers?
Osmoregulators vs Osmoconformers
|Osmoregulators are organisms that firmly regulate their body osmotic pressure by actively controlling the salt concentrations within the body irrespective of the salt concentration of external environment.||Osmoconformers are organisms that live in the marine environment and thus have the ability to maintain the internal body osmotic pressure irrelevant to that of the external environment.|
|Type of Organisms|
|Osmoregulators include both marine fish and freshwater.||Osmoconformers mainly include many marine invertebrates.|
|Osmoregulators use a high amount of energy than osmoconformers.||Osmoconformers use a low amount of energy when compared to osmoregulators.|
|Use of Gills|
|Gills actively take up salt from the external environment.||Gills are used to expel excess salts from the body, unlike in osmoregulators.|
|There aren’t any significant advantages in osmoregulators.||Energy is conserved in osmoconformers.|
|Osmoregulators spend excess energy.||Internal conditions are suboptimal in osmoconformers.|
Summary – Osmoregulators vs Osmoconformers
In summary, regulation of osmolarity is an important aspect of marine and freshwater organisms, mainly fish. Osmoregulators tightly maintain the salt concentration within the body by spending a high amount of energy while osmoconformers achieve the same aspect through less energy consumption. This is the key difference between osmoregulators and osmoconformers. Most marine invertebrates are osmoconformers while osmoregulators include most organisms of the animal kingdom who lives in aquatic habitats.
1. “Bachforelle osmoregulatoin bw en2” By Raver, Duane; modified by Biezl translation improved by User:smartse – NOAA. Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by User:Quadell using CommonsHelper. (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Blue Starfish in the Ocean” (Public Domain) via Goodfreephotos