Article

Universal scaling of respiratory metabolism, size and nitrogen in plants

Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, St Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 02/2006; 439(7075):457-61. DOI: 10.1038/nature04282
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The scaling of respiratory metabolism to body size in animals is considered to be a fundamental law of nature, and there is substantial evidence for an approximate (3/4)-power relation. Studies suggest that plant respiratory metabolism also scales as the (3/4)-power of mass, and that higher plant and animal scaling follow similar rules owing to the predominance of fractal-like transport networks and associated allometric scaling. Here, however, using data obtained from about 500 laboratory and field-grown plants from 43 species and four experiments, we show that whole-plant respiration rate scales approximately isometrically (scaling exponent approximately 1) with total plant mass in individual experiments and has no common relation across all data. Moreover, consistent with theories about biochemically based physiological scaling, isometric scaling of whole-plant respiration rate to total nitrogen content is observed within and across all data sets, with a single relation common to all data. This isometric scaling is unaffected by growth conditions including variation in light, nitrogen availability, temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration, and is similar within or among species or functional groups. These findings suggest that plants and animals follow different metabolic scaling relations, driven by distinct mechanisms.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
143 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This review presents a multidisciplinary framework for integrating the ecological, regulatory, procedural and technical aspects of forest management for fi res prevention under Mediterranean environments. The aims are to: i) provide a foreground of wildfi re scenario; ii) illustrate the theoretical background of forest fuel management; iii) describe the available fuel management tech-niques and mechanical operations for fi re prevention in forest and wildland-urban interfaces, with exemplifi cation of case-studies; iv) allocate fi re prevention activities under the hierarchy of forest planning. The review is conceived as an outline commentary discussion targeted to professionals, technicians and government personnel involved in forestry and environmental management. Basic defi nitions used in the text (Forest) fuel management: The planned manipula-tion of fl ammable materials to adjust fi re behavior (e.g., rate of spread and intensity), fi re effects, and the effectiveness and costs of fi re suppression (the European Glossary for Wildfi res and Forest Fires, 2012, EUFOFINET; http://www.fi re.uni-freiburg.de/literature/EUFOFI-NET-Fire-Glossary.pdf) (Forest) fi re management: The activities concerned with the protection of people, property, and forest areas from wildfi re and the use of prescribed burn-ing for the attainment of forest management and other land use objectives, all conducted in a manner that considers environmental, social, and economic criteria (2003 Glossary of Forest Fire Management Terms; http://bcwildfire.ca/mediaroom/Background-ers/2003_Fire_Glossary.pdf) (Forest) fi re hazard: i) Any situation, process, material or condition that can cause a wildfi re or that can provide a ready fuel supply to augment the spread or intensity of a wildfi re ,all of which pose a threat to life, property or the environment; EUFOFINET; http://www.fi re.uni-freiburg.de/literature/EUFOFI-NET-Fire-Glossary.pdf) ii) fi re hazard (potential): The diffi culty of control-ling potential wildfi re. It is commonly determined by fi re behavior characteris-tics such as rate-of-spread, intensity, torching, crowning, spotting, and fi re per-sistence, and by resistance to-control EUFOFINET; http://www.fi re.uni-freiburg.de/literature/EUFOFI-NET-Fire-Glossary.pdf) iii) A fuel complex, defi ned by volume, type condi-tion, arrangement, and location, that determines the
  • Source
    06/2014; 2(2):89-118. DOI:10.3390/systems2020089
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many fundamental properties of ecological systems and interactions are tied to body size and a related metric, the metabolic rate distribution, both within and across species. A previously proposed maximum entropy theory of ecology (METE) predicts numerous interrelated macroecological patterns, including spatial distributions of individuals within species, abundance distributions across species, species area relationships, and distributions of metabolic rates of all individuals within a community. Extensive tests of METE's macroecological predictions generally support the theory, but two related predictions have not been evaluated against full community census data: the distribution of metabolic rates of individuals within species as a function of the abundance of the species and the distribution of average individual metabolic rates across species. We test the metabolic predictions of METE for herbaceous plants in a subalpine meadow and show that while this theory realistically predicts the distribution of individual metabolic rates across the entire community, the within- and across-species predictions generally fail. We also test the energy-equivalence type prediction that arises as a consequence of the prediction for the distribution of average individual metabolic rates across species. We suggest several possible explanations for the empirical deviations from theory, and distinguish between the expected deviations caused by ecological disturbance and those deviations that might be corrected within the theory.
    Ecology 10/2014; 95(10):2815–2825. · 5.00 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
58 Downloads
Available from
Jun 5, 2014