Metabolic scaling in animals: methods, empirical results, and theoretical explanations

White, Craig R. and Kearney, Michael R. (2014) Metabolic scaling in animals: methods, empirical results, and theoretical explanations. Comprehensive Physiology, 4 1: 231-256. doi:10.1002/cphy.c110049

Author White, Craig R.
Kearney, Michael R.
Title Metabolic scaling in animals: methods, empirical results, and theoretical explanations
Journal name Comprehensive Physiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2040-4603
Publication date 2014-01-10
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/cphy.c110049
Open Access Status
Volume 4
Issue 1
Start page 231
End page 256
Total pages 26
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Life on earth spans a size range of around 21 orders of magnitude across species and can span a range of more than 6 orders of magnitude within species of animal. The effect of size on physiology is, therefore, enormous and is typically expressed by how physiological phenomena scale with massb. When b ≠ 1 a trait does not vary in direct proportion to mass and is said to scale allometrically. The study of allometric scaling goes back to at least the time of Galileo Galilei, and published scaling relationships are now available for hundreds of traits. Here, the methods of scaling analysis are reviewed, using examples for a range of traits with an emphasis on those related to metabolism in animals. Where necessary, new relationships have been generated from published data using modern phylogenetically informed techniques. During recent decades one of the most controversial scaling relationships has been that between metabolic rate and body mass and a number of explanations have been proposed for the scaling of this trait. Examples of these mechanistic explanations for metabolic scaling are reviewed, and suggestions made for comparing between them. Finally, the conceptual links between metabolic scaling and ecological patterns are examined, emphasizing the distinction between (1) the hypothesis that size- and temperature-dependent variation among species and individuals in metabolic rate influences ecological processes at levels of organization from individuals to the biosphere and (2) mechanistic explanations for metabolic rate that may explain the size- and temperature-dependence of this trait.
Keyword Johnson-Neyman technique
Resting energy expenditure
Phylogenetically independent contrasts
Species richness gradients
Muscle aerobic capacity
Doubly labeled water
Over winter survival
Human drug clearance
Body size variation
Bergmanns rule
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 36 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 23 Mar 2014, 20:44:22 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences