Rediscovering and Reviving Old Observations and Explanations of Metabolic Scaling in Living Systems
AbstractWhy the rate of metabolism varies (scales) in regular, but diverse ways with body size is a perennial, incompletely resolved question in biology. In this article, I discuss several examples of the recent rediscovery and (or) revival of specific metabolic scaling relationships and explanations for them previously published during the nearly 200-year history of allometric studies. I carry out this discussion in the context of the four major modal mechanisms highlighted by the contextual multimodal theory (CMT) that I published in this journal four years ago. These mechanisms include metabolically important processes and their effects that relate to surface area, resource transport, system (body) composition, and resource demand. In so doing, I show that no one mechanism can completely explain the broad diversity of metabolic scaling relationships that exists. Multi-mechanistic models are required, several of which I discuss. Successfully developing a truly general theory of biological scaling requires the consideration of multiple hypotheses, causal mechanisms and scaling relationships, and their integration in a context-dependent way. A full awareness of the rich history of allometric studies, an openness to multiple perspectives, and incisive experimental and comparative tests can help this important quest. View Full-Text
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Glazier, D.S. Rediscovering and Reviving Old Observations and Explanations of Metabolic Scaling in Living Systems. Systems 2018, 6, 4.
Glazier DS. Rediscovering and Reviving Old Observations and Explanations of Metabolic Scaling in Living Systems. Systems. 2018; 6(1):4.Chicago/Turabian Style
Glazier, Douglas S. 2018. "Rediscovering and Reviving Old Observations and Explanations of Metabolic Scaling in Living Systems." Systems 6, no. 1: 4.
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