The Respiratory System Changing Alveolar Volume • Increasing thoracic volume results in decreased pleural pressure, increased alveolar volume, decreased alveolar pressure, and air movement into the lungs. • Decreasing thoracic volume results in increased pleural pressure, decreased alveolar volume, increased alveolar pressure, and air movement out of the lungs. Pulmonary Volumes and Capacities • There are four pulmonary volumes: tidal volume, inspiratory reserve, expiratory reserve, and residual volume. • Pulmonary capacities are the sum of two or more pulmonary volumes and include vital capacity and total lung capacity. • The forced expiratory vital capacity measures the rate at which air can be expelled from the lungs. Gas Exchange • The respiratory membranes are thin and have a large surface area that facilitates gas exchange. • The components of the respiratory membrane include a film of water, the walls of the alveolus and the capillary, and an interstitial space. • Respiratory Membrane Thickness
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