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The Ecological Implications of Body Size
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  • Cited by 1764
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    Immonen, Elina Hämäläinen, Anni Schuett, Wiebke and Tarka, Maja 2018. Evolution of sex-specific pace-of-life syndromes: genetic architecture and physiological mechanisms. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol. 72, Issue. 3,

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    Puttick, M. N. 2018. Mixed evidence for early bursts of morphological evolution in extant clades. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 31, Issue. 4, p. 502.

    Dunck, Bárbara Amaral, Diogo Castanho Fernandes, Ubirajara Lima Santana, Natália Fernanda Lopes, Taise Miranda and Rodrigues, Liliana 2018. Herbivory effects on the periphytic algal functional diversity in lake ecosystems: an experimental approach. Hydrobiologia, Vol. 816, Issue. 1, p. 231.

    Alhajeri, Bader H. and Steppan, Scott J. 2018. Ecological and Ecomorphological Specialization Are Not Associated with Diversification Rates in Muroid Rodents (Rodentia: Muroidea). Evolutionary Biology,

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    Goldbogen, J. A. and Madsen, P. T. 2018. The evolution of foraging capacity and gigantism in cetaceans. The Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 221, Issue. 11, p. jeb166033.

    Brucet, Sandra Arranz, Ignasi Mehner, Thomas Argillier, Christine Beklioğlu, Meryem Benejam, Lluís Boll, Thomas Holmgren, Kerstin Lauridsen, Torben L. Svenning, Jens-Christian Winfield, Ian J. and Jeppesen, Erik 2018. Size diversity and species diversity relationships in fish assemblages of Western Palearctic lakes. Ecography, Vol. 41, Issue. 7, p. 1064.

    Horne, Curtis R. Hirst, Andrew G. Atkinson, David and Bell, James R. 2018. Insect temperature-body size trends common to laboratory, latitudinal and seasonal gradients are not found across altitudes. Functional Ecology, Vol. 32, Issue. 4, p. 948.

    He, Dong and Yan, En-Rong 2018. Size-dependent variations in individual traits and trait scaling relationships within a shade-tolerant evergreen tree species. American Journal of Botany,

    Poe, Steven Latella, Ian M. and Godoy, Oscar 2018. Empirical test of the native-nonnative distinction: Native and nonnative assemblages of Anolis lizards are similar in morphology and phylogeny. Functional Ecology,

    Douhard, Mathieu Guillemette, Simon Festa-Bianchet, Marco and Pelletier, Fanie 2018. Drivers and demographic consequences of seasonal mass changes in an alpine ungulate. Ecology, Vol. 99, Issue. 3, p. 724.

    Prechtel, Austin R. Coulter, Alison A. Etchison, Luke Jackson, P. Ryan and Goforth, Reuben R. 2018. Range estimates and habitat use of invasive Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix): evidence of sedentary and mobile individuals. Hydrobiologia, Vol. 805, Issue. 1, p. 203.

    Tonin, Alan M. Pozo, Jesús Monroy, Silvia Basaguren, Ana Pérez, Javier Gonçalves, José F. Pearson, Richard Cardinale, Bradley J. Boyero, Luz and O’Gorman, Eoin 2018. Interactions between large and small detritivores influence how biodiversity impacts litter decomposition. Journal of Animal Ecology,

    Martínez-Monzón, Almudena Blain, Hugues-Alexandre Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria and Rodríguez, Miguel Ángel 2018. Climate and amphibian body size: a new perspective gained from the fossil record. Ecography, Vol. 41, Issue. 8, p. 1307.

    Iatskiu, Patrícia Bovo-Scomparin, Vânia Mara Segovia, Bianca Trevizan Velho, Luiz Felipe Machado Lemke, Michael J. and Rodrigues, Luzia Cleide 2018. Variability in mean size of phytoplankton in two floodplain lakes of different climatic regions. Hydrobiologia,

    Ferrón, Humberto G. Holgado, Borja Liston, Jeffrey J. Martínez-Pérez, Carlos Botella, Héctor and Cavin, Lionel 2018. Assessing metabolic constraints on the maximum body size of actinopterygians: locomotion energetics of Leedsichthys problematicus (Actinopterygii, Pachycormiformes). Palaeontology, Vol. 61, Issue. 5, p. 775.

    Martin, Robert A. 2018. Scaling of species diversity and body mass in mammals: Cope’s rule and the evolutionary cost of large size. Historical Biology, p. 1.

    Xia, Shujuan Yamakawa, Takashi and Belgrano, Andrea 2018. A size-structured matrix model to simulate dynamics of marine community size spectrum. PLOS ONE, Vol. 13, Issue. 6, p. e0198415.

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Book description

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.


‘ … [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 …’

Source: 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.’

Source: 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.’

Source: Choice

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