Learn More
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)
Allometric scaling relations, including the 3/4 power law for metabolic rates, are characteristic of all organisms and are here derived from a general model that describes how essential materials are transported through space-filling fractal networks of branching tubes. The model assumes that the energy dissipated is minimized and that the terminal tubes do(More)
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 degrees to 40 degrees C. Mass- and(More)
Several equations have been proposed to describe ontogenetic growth trajectories for organisms justified primarily on the goodness of fit rather than on any biological mechanism. Here, we derive a general quantitative model based on fundamental principles for the allocation of metabolic energy between maintenance of existing tissue and the production of new(More)
Fractal-like networks effectively endow life with an additional fourth spatial dimension. This is the origin of quarter-power scaling that is so pervasive in biology. Organisms have evolved hierarchical branching networks that terminate in size-invariant units, such as capillaries, leaves, mitochondria, and oxidase molecules. Natural selection has tended to(More)
Humanity has just crossed a major landmark in its history with the majority of people now living in cities. Cities have long been known to be society's predominant engine of innovation and wealth creation, yet they are also its main source of crime, pollution, and disease. The inexorable trend toward urbanization worldwide presents an urgent challenge for(More)
Body size and temperature are the two most important variables affecting nearly all biological rates and times. The relationship of size and temperature to development is of particular interest, because during ontogeny size changes and temperature often varies. Here we derive a general model, based on first principles of allometry and biochemical kinetics,(More)
SFI Working Papers contain accounts of scientific work of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Santa Fe Institute. We accept papers intended for publication in peer-reviewed journals or proceedings volumes, but not papers that have already appeared in print. Except for papers by our external faculty, papers must be based on work(More)
Underlying the diversity of life and the complexity of ecology is order that reflects the operation of fundamental physical and biological processes. Power laws describe empirical scaling relationships that are emergent quantitative features of biodiversity. These features are patterns of structure or dynamics that are self-similar or fractal-like over many(More)
All organisms face the problem of how to fuel ontogenetic growth. We present a model, empirically grounded in data from birds and mammals, that correctly predicts how growing animals allocate food energy between synthesis of new biomass and maintenance of existing biomass. Previous energy budget models have typically had their bases in rates of either food(More)