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The Ecological Implications of Body Size : Cambridge Studies in Ecology (Paperback) - Robert Henry Peters

The Ecological Implications of Body Size

Cambridge Studies in Ecology (Paperback)

Paperback Published: 21st July 1986
ISBN: 9780521288866
Number Of Pages: 344

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It is generally recognized that larger animals eat more, live longer, have larger offspring, and so on; but it is unusual to see these commonplace observations as a basis for scientific biology. A large number of empirically based relationships describe biological rates as simple functions of body size; and other such relations predict the intrinsic rate of population growth, animal speed, animal density, territory size, prey size, physiology, and morphology. Such equations almost always exist for mammals and birds, often for other vertebrates and invertebrates, sometimes for protozoa, algae, and bacteria, and occasionally even for plants. There are too many organisms to measure all aspects of the biology of every species of population, so scientists must depend on generalizations. Body size relations represent our most extensive and powerful assemblage of generalizations, but they have never been organized for use in ecology. This book represents the largest single compilation of interspecific size relations, and instructs the reader on the use of these relationships; their comparison, combination, and criticism. Both strengths and weaknesses of our current knowledge are discussed in order to indicate the many possible directions for further research. This important volume will therefore provide a point of departure toward a new applied ecology, giving quantitative solutions to real questions. It will interest advanced students of ecology and comparative physiology as well as professional biologists.

Industry Reviews

' ... [Peters] has built a brief and engaging quantitative monograph, frank, learned, painstaking and made explicitly helpful to readers with little mathematical experience ... His text is an unequaled review of the field ...' Scientific American ' ... Here is a treasure house of information ... Clearly this is an important book. It is different - and by ignoring cherished disciplines, by blending physiology and ecology, and by looking at problems with a fresh eye, Peters yields new insights and opens up new questions.' Nature 'Peters has produced both a useful introduction to the relationships of body size to several physiological, ecological, and biomechanical processes as well as a source of data on these matters ... Peter's approach is effective, and this small volume could be used in graduate seminars as well as in advanced undergraduate courses in ecology and related subjects.' Choice

Prefacep. ix
A philosophical introductionp. 1
The nature of scientific theoryp. 1
Example: Daily sleep and body size in herbivorous mammalsp. 2
Scientific crisis in ecologyp. 8
A mathematical primer: Logarithms, power curves, and correlationsp. 10
Basic toolsp. 10
Regression analysisp. 15
Metabolismp. 24
The balanced growth equationp. 24
Respirationp. 25
Interpretations and implicationsp. 39
Physiological correlates of sizep. 45
Introductionp. 45
Mammalian models of respiratory and circulatory physiologyp. 48
Temperature and metabolic ratep. 54
Temperature, size, and metabolism: A regression modelp. 55
The estimation of body temperaturep. 56
The effects of ambient temperaturep. 57
Other factors and other processesp. 76
Locomotionp. 79
Description of the metabolic costs of locomotionp. 79
Speeds of locomotionp. 86
Transport costsp. 90
Moving metabolic ratesp. 95
Ingestionp. 100
Some basic propertiesp. 101
Other factorsp. 106
Prey sizep. 108
Production: Growth and reproductionp. 118
The scaling of life historyp. 118
Population productionp. 133
An individual production term for the balanced growth equationp. 139
Mass flowp. 147
The autecology of material flowsp. 148
Nutrients and nutrient turnoverp. 158
Animal abundancep. 164
The numerical density of individual speciesp. 165
Home range areap. 170
Community size structurep. 173
Other allometric relationsp. 184
Animal behaviorp. 184
Ecological economicsp. 187
Evolutionp. 192
Allometric simulation modelsp. 197
Introductionp. 197
The basic modelp. 198
Explanationsp. 213
Two basic components of allometric explanationsp. 213
Some allometric explanationsp. 215
Prospectusp. 227
Appendixesp. 231
Referencesp. 297
Indexp. 325
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521288866
ISBN-10: 052128886X
Series: Cambridge Studies in Ecology (Paperback)
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 21st July 1986
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.17 x 15.24  x 2.11
Weight (kg): 0.52

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