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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)
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)
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)
Plant vascular networks are central to botanical form, function, and diversity. Here, we develop a theory for plant network scaling that is based on optimal space filling by the vascular system along with trade-offs between hydraulic safety and efficiency. Including these evolutionary drivers leads to predictions for sap flow, the taper of the radii of(More)
To understand the effects of temperature on biological systems, we compile, organize, and analyze a database of 1,072 thermal responses for microbes, plants, and animals. The unprecedented diversity of traits (n = 112), species (n = 309), body sizes (15 orders of magnitude), and habitats (all major biomes) in our database allows us to quantify novel(More)
Trophic interactions govern biomass fluxes in ecosystems, and stability in food webs. Knowledge of how trophic interaction strengths are affected by differences among habitats is crucial for understanding variation in ecological systems. Here we show how substantial variation in consumption-rate data, and hence trophic interaction strengths, arises because(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)
Metabolic rate, heart rate, lifespan, and many other physiological properties vary with body mass in systematic and interrelated ways. Present empirical data suggest that these scaling relationships take the form of power laws with exponents that are simple multiples of one quarter. A compelling explanation of this observation was put forward a decade ago(More)
Environmental change is as multifaceted as are the species and communities that respond to these changes. Current theoretical approaches to modeling ecosystem response to environmental change often deal only with single environmental drivers or single species traits, simple ecological interactions, and/or steady states, leading to concern about how(More)
Several theories predict whole-tree function on the basis of allometric scaling relationships assumed to emerge from traits of branching networks. To test this key assumption, and more generally, to explore patterns of external architecture within and across trees, we measure branch traits (radii/lengths) and calculate scaling exponents from five(More)