loading page

Responses of intraspecific metabolic scaling to temperature and activity differ between water- and air-breathing ectothermic vertebrates
  • +1
  • Guillermo García-Gómez,
  • Andrew Hirst,
  • Matthew Spencer,
  • David Atkinson
Guillermo García-Gómez
University of Liverpool

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Andrew Hirst
University of Liverpool
Author Profile
Matthew Spencer
University of Liverpool
Author Profile
David Atkinson
University of Liverpool
Author Profile


Metabolism underpins all life-sustaining processes and varies profoundly with body size, temperature, and locomotor activity. A current theory explains some of the size-dependence of metabolic rate (its mass exponent, b) through changes in metabolic level (L). We propose two predictive advances that: (a) combine the above theory with the evolved avoidance of oxygen limitation in water-breathers experiencing warming, and (b) quantify the overall magnitude of combined temperatures and degrees of locomotion on metabolic scaling across air- and water-breathers. We use intraspecific metabolic scaling responses to temperature (523 regressions) and activity (281 regressions) in diverse ectothermic vertebrates (fish, reptiles and amphibians) to show that b decreases with temperature-increased L in water-breathers, supporting surface area-related avoidance of oxygen limitation, whereas b increases with activity-increased L in air-breathers, following volume-related influences. This new theoretical integration quantitatively incorporates different influences (warming, locomotion) and respiration modes (aquatic, terrestrial) on animal energetics.
07 Nov 2023Submitted to Ecology Letters
07 Nov 2023Assigned to Editor
07 Nov 2023Submission Checks Completed
07 Nov 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
08 Nov 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned