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J Math Biol. 2001 Aug;43(2):144-56.

Allometric scaling in animals and plants.

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Center for Gravitational Physics and Geometry, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802-6300, USA.


In this paper we give a derivation for the allometric scaling relation between the metabolic rate and the mass of animals and plants. We show that the characteristic scaling exponent of 3/4 occurring in this relation is a result of the distribution of sources and sinks within the living organism. We further introduce a principle of least mass and discuss the kind of flows that arise from it.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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