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MTE Project Summary

Determining if and how much the size-temperature relationship (which is inversely proportional) will mitigate effects of climate change on ectothermic metabolic rates.

Questions

  1. Metabolic rates increase when temperature increases. If body size is allowed to change, do metabolic rates increase as much?
  2. Does body size change enough, with increasing temperatures, to maintain the original metabolic rate?
  3. Does the initial temperature affect the increase in metabolic rate as temperatures increase? (*Will not be possible to address this question if using species averages)

Analyses

  1. Compare initial metabolic rate to actual metabolic rate when mass can change (i.e., final) and to metabolic rate if mass remains the same (i.e., constant mass) with an increase in temperature of 3*. Results in two percent differences where a percent difference of zero indicates no change in metabolic rate.
  2. Compare initial mass to actual mass when mass can change (i.e., final) and to mass if metabolic rate remains the same (i.e., constant metrate) with an increase in temperature of 3*. Results in two percent differences where a percent difference of zero indicates no change in metabolic rate.

Results

  1. Difference between initial and final metabolic rate was 24% on average for all species, while difference between initial and constant mass metabolic rate was greater, an average of about 28%. Metabolic rate increases with an increase in temperature, but doesn't increase as much when body size is allowed to change.
  2. Difference between initial and final mass was -4% on average for all species, while difference between initial and constant metrate mass was greater, an average of about -28%. Mass decreases with an increase in temperature, but doesn't decrease even close to enough for metabolic rate to not change.

Interpretation

Metabolic rates of ectotherms will generally increase due to increasing temperatures, such as in climate change scenarios. Metabolic rates will not increase as much when body size can change because of the size-temperature relationship, in which temperature increases cause body size decreases which result in decreasing metabolic rates. Body size will not decrease enough to maintain metabolic rates when temperature changes, though.

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Research on the consequences of size-temperature relationship for understanding global change

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