Determinants of inter-specific variation in basal metabolic rate

White, Craig R. and Kearney, Michael R. (2013) Determinants of inter-specific variation in basal metabolic rate. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 183 1: 1-26. doi:10.1007/s00360-012-0676-5

Author White, Craig R.
Kearney, Michael R.
Title Determinants of inter-specific variation in basal metabolic rate
Journal name Journal of Comparative Physiology B   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0174-1578
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1007/s00360-012-0676-5
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 183
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 26
Total pages 26
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the rate of metabolism of a resting, postabsorptive, non-reproductive, adult bird or mammal, measured during the inactive circadian phase at a thermoneutral temperature. BMR is one of the most widely measured physiological traits, and data are available for over 1,200 species. With data available for such a wide range of species, BMR is a benchmark measurement in ecological and evolutionary physiology, and is often used as a reference against which other levels of metabolism are compared. Implicit in such comparisons is the assumption that BMR is invariant for a given species and that it therefore represents a stable point of comparison. However, BMR shows substantial variation between individuals, populations and species. Investigation of the ultimate (evolutionary) explanations for these differences remains an active area of inquiry, and explanation of size-related trends remains a contentious area. Whereas explanations for the scaling of BMR are generally mechanistic and claim ties to the first principles of chemistry and physics, investigations of mass-independent variation typically take an evolutionary perspective and have demonstrated that BMR is ultimately linked with a range of extrinsic variables including diet, habitat temperature, and net primary productivity. Here we review explanations for size-related and mass-independent variation in the BMR of animals, and suggest ways that the various explanations can be evaluated and integrated.
Keyword Macrophysiology
Metabolic rate
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 23 September 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Tue, 29 Jan 2013, 16:32:29 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences