Abundance–body size relationships: the roles of metabolism and population dynamics
Article first published online: 10 JUN 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 British Ecological Society
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 77, Issue 5, pages 1056–1062, September 2008
How to Cite
Lewis, H. M., Law, R. and McKane, A. J. (2008), Abundance–body size relationships: the roles of metabolism and population dynamics. Journal of Animal Ecology, 77: 1056–1062. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2008.01405.x
- Issue published online: 13 AUG 2008
- Article first published online: 10 JUN 2008
- Received 21 December 2007; accepted 28 February 2008; Handling Editor: Kevin McCann
- abundance-mass scaling;
- energetic equivalence rule;
- linear biomass hypothesis;
- metabolic theory
- 1Species’ abundance scales approximately as an inverse power of body mass. This property has been explained on the basis of metabolic rates of organisms of different sizes.
- 2This paper considers the additional effect of population dynamics on the abundance–body size relationship, on the grounds that mass flow through food webs also depends on interactions between predators and their prey. To do this, an analysis of simple dynamical food-chain models was carried out, using rate parameters which scaled with body mass according to empirically based rules.
- 3The analysis shows that a function for the abundance–body size relationship derived from metabolic theory is a good first approximation to a function derived for food chains at dynamic equilibrium, although the mechanistic interpretation of terms in the functions is not the same.
- 4The results are sensitive to assumptions about the scaling of the self-limitation of basal species with respect to body size. Depending on the assumption made, the abundance–body size relationship may have a power parameter –1 at all trophic levels, or be described by different functions at different trophic levels.