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Effects of Size and Temperature on Metabolic Rate

Science  21 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5538, pp. 2248-2251
DOI: 10.1126/science.1061967

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Abstract

We derive a general model, based on principles of biochemical kinetics and allometry, that characterizes the effects of temperature and body mass on metabolic rate. The model fits metabolic rates of microbes, ectotherms, endotherms (including those in hibernation), and plants in temperatures ranging from 0° to 40°C. Mass- and temperature-compensated resting metabolic rates of all organisms are similar: The lowest (for unicellular organisms and plants) is separated from the highest (for endothermic vertebrates) by a factor of about 20. Temperature and body size are primary determinants of biological time and ecological roles.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: gillooly{at}unm.edu

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