Crustacean haemocyanin oxygen affinity may be modified through changes in concentration of various inorganic and organic allosteric modulators. These may act in both positive and negative directions, increasing or decreasing haemocyanin oxygen affinity, and assist both in oxygen loading at the gills and oxygen release in the tissues. Inorganic ions, except for Mg(2+), do not normally influence cooperativity or the Bohr effect, whereas most of the organic modulators decrease cooperativity without affecting the Bohr coefficient. Several new findings on the influence of sulphide and thiosulphate are reviewed together with evidence for unidentified factors that decrease haemocyanin oxygen affinity. The physiological implications of all these findings are discussed in the context of maintaining a flexible response to a changing environment.

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