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Universal temperature and body-mass scaling of feeding rates


Rall, Björn C; Brose, Ulrich; Hartvig, Martin; Kalinkat, Gregor; Schwarzmüller, Florian; Vucic-Pestic, Olivera; Petchey, Owen L (2012). Universal temperature and body-mass scaling of feeding rates. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 367(1605):2923-2934.

Abstract

Knowledge of feeding rates is the basis to understand interaction strength and subsequently the stability of ecosystems and biodiversity. Feeding rates, as all biological rates, depend on consumer and resource body masses and environmental temperature. Despite five decades of research on functional responses as quantitative models of feeding rates, a unifying framework of how they scale with body masses and temperature is still lacking. This is perplexing, considering that the strength of functional responses (i.e. interaction strengths) is crucially important for the stability of simple consumer-resource systems and the persistence, sustainability and biodiversity of complex communities. Here, we present the largest currently available database on functional response parameters and their scaling with body mass and temperature. Moreover, these data are integrated across ecosystems and metabolic types of species. Surprisingly, we found general temperature dependencies that differed from the Arrhenius terms predicted by metabolic models. Additionally, the body-mass-scaling relationships were more complex than expected and differed across ecosystems and metabolic types. At local scales (taxonomically narrow groups of consumer-resource pairs), we found hump-shaped deviations from the temperature and body-mass-scaling relationships. Despite the complexity of our results, these body-mass- and temperature-scaling models remain useful as a mechanistic basis for predicting the consequences of warming for interaction strengths, population dynamics and network stability across communities differing in their size structure.

Knowledge of feeding rates is the basis to understand interaction strength and subsequently the stability of ecosystems and biodiversity. Feeding rates, as all biological rates, depend on consumer and resource body masses and environmental temperature. Despite five decades of research on functional responses as quantitative models of feeding rates, a unifying framework of how they scale with body masses and temperature is still lacking. This is perplexing, considering that the strength of functional responses (i.e. interaction strengths) is crucially important for the stability of simple consumer-resource systems and the persistence, sustainability and biodiversity of complex communities. Here, we present the largest currently available database on functional response parameters and their scaling with body mass and temperature. Moreover, these data are integrated across ecosystems and metabolic types of species. Surprisingly, we found general temperature dependencies that differed from the Arrhenius terms predicted by metabolic models. Additionally, the body-mass-scaling relationships were more complex than expected and differed across ecosystems and metabolic types. At local scales (taxonomically narrow groups of consumer-resource pairs), we found hump-shaped deviations from the temperature and body-mass-scaling relationships. Despite the complexity of our results, these body-mass- and temperature-scaling models remain useful as a mechanistic basis for predicting the consequences of warming for interaction strengths, population dynamics and network stability across communities differing in their size structure.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:functional response; warming; body size; interaction strength; metabolic theory; allometric scaling
Language:German
Date:2012
Deposited On:04 Feb 2013 09:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:21
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing
ISSN:0962-8436
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2012.0242
PubMed ID:23007080

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