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Energy and Metabolism

  1. Raul K. Suarez

Published Online: 1 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/cphy.c110009

Comprehensive Physiology

Comprehensive Physiology

How to Cite

Suarez, R. K. 2012. Energy and Metabolism. Comprehensive Physiology. 2:2527–2540.

Author Information

  1. Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, California

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 OCT 2012


Although firmly grounded in metabolic biochemistry, the study of energy metabolism has gone well beyond this discipline and become integrative and comparative as well as ecological and evolutionary in scope. At the cellular level, ATP is hydrolyzed by energy-expending processes and resynthesized by pathways in bioenergetics. A significant development in the study of bioenergetics is the realization that fluxes through pathways as well as metabolic rates in cells, tissues, organs, and whole organisms are “system properties.” Therefore, studies of energy metabolism have become, increasingly, experiments in systems biology. A significant challenge continues to be the integration of phenomena over multiple levels of organization. Body mass and temperature are said to account for most of the variation in metabolic rates found in nature. A mechanistic foundation for the understanding of these patterns is outlined. It is emphasized that evolution, leading to adaptation to diverse lifestyles and environments, has resulted in a tremendous amount of deviation from popularly accepted scaling “rules.” This is especially so in the deep sea which constitutes most of the biosphere. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:2527-2540, 2012.