Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Physiol Biochem Zool. 2006 Sep-Oct;79(5):878-84. Epub 2006 Aug 17.

Mass and temperature dependence of metabolic rate in litter and soil invertebrates.

Author information

Department of Sciences and Conservation Studies, College of Santa Fe, 1600 Saint Michaels Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505, USA.


Metabolic scaling theory provides a framework for modeling the combined mass and temperature dependence of metabolic rate. The theory predicts that whole-organism metabolic rate should scale with body mass raised to the 3/4 power as a consequence of the physical characteristics of internal distribution networks. Metabolic rate is predicted to vary with absolute body temperature, T, according to the Boltzmann factor, e(-E/kT), where E is the apparent activation energy of biochemical reactions, 0.2-1.2 eV, and k is Boltzmann's constant. I evaluated those predictions, using a compilation of published data on the metabolic rates of litter- and soil-dwelling earthworms, isopods, oribatid mites, springtails, and spiders. Earthworms, oribatid mites, springtails, and spiders had mass-scaling exponents that were statistically indistinguishable from the expected value of 0.75. The scaling exponent for terrestrial isopods, 0.91, was significantly greater than expected. All taxa had apparent activation energies within the predicted range of 0.2-1.2 eV. Activation energies for isopods, oribatid mites, springtails, and spiders were not significantly different from the average expected value of 0.6 eV, while the activation energy for earthworms, 0.25 eV, was significantly lower than 0.6 eV. Updated equations for estimating metabolic rate from body mass and environmental temperature are given for investigations into the ecological energetics of litter and soil animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for University of Chicago Press
    Loading ...
    Support Center