Size-abundance rules? Evolution changes scaling relationships between size, metabolism and demography
journal contributionposted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Martino MalerbaMartino Malerba, D J Marshall
Body size often strongly covaries with demography across species. Metabolism has long been invoked as the driver of these patterns, but tests of causal links between size, metabolism and demography within a species are exceedingly rare. We used 400 generations of artificial selection to evolve a 2427% size difference in the microalga Dunaliella tertiolecta. We repeatedly measured size, energy fluxes and demography across the evolved lineages. Then, we used standard metabolic theory to generate predictions of how size and demography should covary based on the scaling of energy fluxes that we measured. The size dependency of energy remained relatively consistent in time, but metabolic theory failed to predict demographic rates, which varied unpredictably in strength and even sign across generations. Classic theory holds that size affects demography via metabolism – our results suggest that both metabolism and size act separately to drive demography and that among-species patterns may not predict within-species processes.
Pagination1407 - 1416
Link to full text
Publication classificationC Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Read the peer-reviewed publication
Science & TechnologyLife Sciences & BiomedicineEcologyEnvironmental Sciences & EcologyAllometryartificial selectionCentre for Geometric Biologydemographic parametersevolutionary size-shiftexperimental evolutionmetabolic ecologymetabolic energyscalingBODY-SIZEPOPULATION-DENSITYHOME-RANGETEMPERATURETERRESTRIALPREDICTIONSDEPENDENCECOMMUNITY