Biology (11th Edition)

Published by McGraw-Hill Education
ISBN 10: 1-25918-813-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-25918-813-8

Chapter 48 - The Respiratory System - Figure 48.13 - Inquiry Question: 1

Answer

Emphysema does two things based on Fick's Law: it reduces alveolar surface area and thus the rate of diffusion, and it raises the fibrosity/thickness of alveolar walls which reduces diffusion.

Work Step by Step

To understand this see the equation for Fick's Law on p.1004. The two changed noted in the alveolae are directly relevant to that equation and, thus, to the rate of diffusion.
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