ATP and diving

When no pre- and post-dive blood lactate measurement is available, the aerobic dive limit (ADL) can be calculated by dividing usable oxygen stores by an estimation of the rate of oxygen consumption during diving.

However, Weddell seals can dive for at least 2-3 times longer than their ADL. This means that at ADL, there is still some usable oxygen remaining in the stores.

Weddell seals can perform aerobic dives, where ATP is produced from oxygen, as well as partially anaerobic dives, where ATP is produced from lactate.

Since we have collected data on both, we can see that during the 12-minute dive no lactate was accumulated and during the 30-minute dive 8 mmol of lactate were accumulated.

If we wish to know what percentage of ATP was produced by either aerobic or anaerobic metabolism, all we need to do is divide the respective amount by the total and multiply by 100.