reptiles and certain amphibian species, are terrestrial. Personnel working with aquatic animals should be familiar with management implications, e.g., the importance of providing appropriate temperature ranges for basic physiologic function.


Terrestrial Environment

Microenvironment and Macroenvironment

The microenvironment of a terrestrial animal is the physical environment immediately surrounding it; that is, the primary enclosure such as the cage, pen, or stall. It contains all the resources with which the animals come directly in contact and also provides the limits of the animals’ immediate environment. The microenvironment is characterized by many factors, including illumination, noise, vibration, temperature, humidity, and gaseous and particulate composition of the air. The physical environment of the secondary enclosure, such as a room, a barn, or an outdoor habitat, constitutes the macroenvironment.

Microenvironment: The immediate physical environment surrounding the animal (i.e., the environment in the primary enclosure such as the cage, pen, or stall).

Although the microenvironment and the macroenvironment are generally related, the microenvironment can be appreciably different and affected by several factors, including the design of the primary enclosure and macroenvironmental conditions.

Macroenvironment: The physical environment of the secondary enclosure (e.g., a room, a barn, or an outdoor habitat).

Evaluation of the microenvironment of small enclosures can be difficult. Available data indicate that temperature, humidity, and concentrations of gases and particulate matter are often higher in the animal microenvironment than in the macroenvironment (Besch 1980; Hasenau et al. 1993; Perkins and Lipman 1995; E. Smith et al. 2004), while light levels are usually lower. Microenvironmental conditions can directly affect physiologic processes and behavior and may alter disease susceptibility (Baer et al. 1997; Broderson et al. 1976; Memarzadeh et al. 2004; Schoeb et al. 1982; Vesell et al. 1976).

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