Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Metabolic Scaling in Complex Living Systems
Previous Article in Journal
Engineering Hybrid Learning Communities: The Case of a Regional Parent Community
Previous Article in Special Issue
Exploring and Explaining Complex Allometric Relationships: A Case Study on Amniote Testes Mass Allometry
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Systems 2014, 2(4), 425-450; doi:10.3390/systems2040425

Scaling of Metabolic Scaling within Physical Limits

Department of Biology, Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA 16652, USA
Received: 20 May 2014 / Revised: 27 June 2014 / Accepted: 3 September 2014 / Published: 1 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allometric Scaling)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [497 KB, uploaded 1 October 2014]   |  

Abstract

Both the slope and elevation of scaling relationships between log metabolic rate and log body size vary taxonomically and in relation to physiological or developmental state, ecological lifestyle and environmental conditions. Here I discuss how the recently proposed metabolic-level boundaries hypothesis (MLBH) provides a useful conceptual framework for explaining and predicting much, but not all of this variation. This hypothesis is based on three major assumptions: (1) various processes related to body volume and surface area exert state-dependent effects on the scaling slope for metabolic rate in relation to body mass; (2) the elevation and slope of metabolic scaling relationships are linked; and (3) both intrinsic (anatomical, biochemical and physiological) and extrinsic (ecological) factors can affect metabolic scaling. According to the MLBH, the diversity of metabolic scaling relationships occurs within physical boundary limits related to body volume and surface area. Within these limits, specific metabolic scaling slopes can be predicted from the metabolic level (or scaling elevation) of a species or group of species. In essence, metabolic scaling itself scales with metabolic level, which is in turn contingent on various intrinsic and extrinsic conditions operating in physiological or evolutionary time. The MLBH represents a “meta-mechanism” or collection of multiple, specific mechanisms that have contingent, state-dependent effects. As such, the MLBH is Darwinian in approach (the theory of natural selection is also meta-mechanistic), in contrast to currently influential metabolic scaling theory that is Newtonian in approach (i.e., based on unitary deterministic laws). Furthermore, the MLBH can be viewed as part of a more general theory that includes other mechanisms that may also affect metabolic scaling. View Full-Text
Keywords: body size; contingency; developmental and physiological state; ecological lifestyle; environmental conditions; evolutionary adaptation; metabolism; meta-mechanism; physical constraints; scaling body size; contingency; developmental and physiological state; ecological lifestyle; environmental conditions; evolutionary adaptation; metabolism; meta-mechanism; physical constraints; scaling
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Glazier, D.S. Scaling of Metabolic Scaling within Physical Limits. Systems 2014, 2, 425-450.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Systems EISSN 2079-8954 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top