1. Chemical stimulation as a function of temperature was studied by using oxalic acid in fresh and salt water and malonic acid in salt water as stimulating agents on Fundulus. According to the Arrhenius equation the following µ values were obtained for the various acid solutions between 0 and 29°C.: for 0.002N oxalic in fresh water—15,800; 33,000; for 0.0008N oxalic in fresh water—15,800; 33,000; 48,000; for 0.002N oxalic in salt water—19,400; 24,100; 56,500; for 0.004N and 0.002N malonic in salt water—20,600; 65,000. At a critical temperature there is a sharp transition from one thermal increment to another.
2. The chemical processes controlling stimulation do not change with concentration, for different normalities of a single acid yield the same µ values. Distinctly different temperature characteristics were obtained for stimulation by oxalic in salt and fresh water. Likewise stimulation by oxalic and malonic in salt water yielded very different increments. This temperature study indicates that the controlling chemical reactions determining rate of response are different for the same acid in two different environments, or for two dibasic acids in the same environment. Other work indicates, however, that the fundamental stimulation system is the same for all the adds in both environments. Chemical rather than physical processes limit the rate of response since all the values are above 15,000. Stimulation depends upon a series of interrelated chemical reactions, each with its own temperature characteristic. Under varying conditions (e.g. change of temperature, environment, or acid) different chemical reactions may become the slowest or controlling process which determines the rate of response.
3. The variation of response, as measured by the probable error of the mean response time of the fish, is the same function of temperature as reaction time itself. Hence variability is not independent of reaction time and is controlled by the same catenary series of events which determine rate of response to stimulation.
4. Breathing rhythm of Fundulus as related to temperature was studied in both salt and fresh water. In salt water the temperature characteristic is 8,400 while in fresh water it is 16,400 below 9.5°C., and 11,300 above this critical temperature. These µ values are typical of those which have been reported by other workers for respiratory and oxidative biological phenomena. A change in thermal increment with an alteration in environment indicates that different chemical reactions with characteristic velocity constants are controlling the breathing rhythm in salt and fresh water.