The Ecological Implications of Body Size

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Mar 31, 1986 - Science - 329 pages
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It is generally recognized that larger animals eat more, live longer, have larger offspring, and so on; but it is unusual to see these commonplace observations as a basis for scientific biology. A large number of empirically based relationships describe biological rates as simple functions of body size; and other such relations predict the intrinsic rate of population growth, animal speed, animal density, territory size, prey size, physiology, and morphology. Such equations almost always exist for mammals and birds, often for other vertebrates and invertebrates, sometimes for protozoa, algae, and bacteria, and occasionally even for plants. There are too many organisms to measure all aspects of the biology of every species of population, so scientists must depend on generalizations. Body size relations represent our most extensive and powerful assemblage of generalizations, but they have never been organized for use in ecology. This book represents the largest single compilation of interspecific size relations, and instructs the reader on the use of these relationships; their comparison, combination, and criticism. Both strengths and weaknesses of our current knowledge are discussed in order to indicate the many possible directions for further research. This important volume will therefore provide a point of departure toward a new applied ecology, giving quantitative solutions to real questions. It will interest advanced students of ecology and comparative physiology as well as professional biologists.
 

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Contents

A philosophical introduction
1
Daily sleep and body size in herbivorous mammals
2
Scientific crisis in ecology
8
A mathematical primer Logarithms power curves and correlations
10
Regression analysis
15
Metabolism
24
Respiration
25
Interpretations and implications
39
Production Growth and reproduction
118
Population production
133
An individual production term for the balanced growth equation
139
Mass flow
147
The autecology of material flows
148
Nutrients and nutrient turnover
158
Animal abundance
164
The numerical density of individual species
165

Physiological correlates of size
45
Mammalian models of respiratory and circulatory physiology
48
Temperature and metabolic rate
54
A regression model
55
The estimation of body temperature
56
The effects of ambient temperature
57
Other factors and other processes
76
Locomotion
79
Speeds of locomotion
86
Transport costs
90
Moving metabolic rates
95
Ingestion
100
Some basic properties
101
Other factors
106
Prey size
108
Home range area
170
Community size structure
173
Other allometric relations
184
Ecological economics
187
Evolution
192
Allometric simulation models
197
The basic model
198
Explanations
213
Some allometric explanations
215
Prospectus
227
Appendixes
231
References
297
Index
325
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