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The temperature dependence of ectotherm consumption
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The effect of temperature on predator and herbivore consumption is an important factor for predicting the effects of climate warming on ecosystems. The Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE) describes the temperature dependence of biological and ecological rates and states that metabolism is the fundamental biological mechanism that governs most observed patterns in ecology. This statement has been criticized empirically for a number of organismal traits and systematic deviations have been found. Here, a meta-analysis is performed on published temperature responses of ectotherm consumption. The mean effect of temperature on consumption was higher than the mean value predicted by proponents of the MTE and was highly variable. Some of this variation is explained by habitat type, where the consumption rates of marine organisms displayed stronger temperature dependence than for terrestrial and freshwater organisms. The frequency distribution of temperature dependencies is right skewed for consumption. Here, this skewness is explained by a methodological artefact as values close to “no effect” are more unlikely to be sampled than others when fitting the Arrhenius equation. In conclusion, the assumptions of the MTE do not hold for rates of consumption and marine organisms display a stronger temperature dependence compared to terrestrial and freshwater organisms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 25 p.
Keyword [en]
Meta-analysis, Ectotherm, Consumption Rate, Temperature, Response Curve
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61534OAI: diva2:570447
Educational program
Master's Programme in Ecology
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2013-04-09 Created: 2012-11-19 Last updated: 2013-04-09Bibliographically approved

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Norman, Sven
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