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Metabolism provides a basis for using first principles of physics, chemistry, and biology to link the biology of individual organisms to the ecology of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Metabolic rate, the rate at which organisms take up, transform, and expend energy and materials, is the most fundamental biological rate. We have developed a(More)
The latitudinal gradient of increasing biodiversity from poles to equator is one of the most prominent but least understood features of life on Earth. Here we show that species diversity can be predicted from the biochemical kinetics of metabolism. We first demonstrate that the average energy flux of populations is temperature invariant. We then derive a(More)
The diversity of life is ultimately generated by evolution, and much attention has focused on the rapid evolution of ecological traits. Yet, the tendency for many ecological traits to instead remain similar over time [niche conservatism (NC)] has many consequences for the fundamental patterns and processes studied in ecology and conservation biology. Here,(More)
Observations that rates of molecular evolution vary widely within and among lineages have cast doubts on the existence of a single "molecular clock." Differences in the timing of evolutionary events estimated from genetic and fossil evidence have raised further questions about the accuracy of molecular clocks. Here, we present a model of nucleotide(More)
Ecosystem respiration is the biotic conversion of organic carbon to carbon dioxide by all of the organisms in an ecosystem, including both consumers and primary producers. Respiration exhibits an exponential temperature dependence at the subcellular and individual levels, but at the ecosystem level respiration can be modified by many variables including(More)
Understanding energy and material fluxes through ecosystems is central to many questions in global change biology and ecology. Ecosystem respiration is a critical component of the carbon cycle and might be important in regulating biosphere response to global climate change. Here we derive a general model of ecosystem respiration based on the kinetics of(More)
Reich et al. report that the whole-plant respiration rate, R, in seedlings scales linearly with plant mass, M, so that R=C(R)M(theta) when theta approximately 1, in which c(R) is the scaling normalization and theta is the scaling exponent. They also state that because nitrogen concentration (N) is correlated with c(R), variation in N is a better predictor(More)
Latitudinal gradients of biodiversity and macroevolutionary dynamics are prominent yet poorly understood. We derive a model that quantifies the role of kinetic energy in generating biodiversity. The model predicts that rates of genetic divergence and speciation are both governed by metabolic rate and therefore show the same exponential temperature(More)
A primary goal of macroecology is to identify principles that apply across varied ecosystems and taxonomic groups. Here we show that the allometric relationship observed between maximum abundance and body size for terrestrial plants can be extended to predict maximum population densities of marine phytoplankton. These results imply that the abundance of(More)
Rates of ecosystem recovery following disturbance affect many ecological processes, including carbon cycling in the biosphere. Here, we present a model that predicts the temperature dependence of the biomass accumulation rate following disturbances in forests. Model predictions are derived based on allometric and biochemical principles that govern plant(More)