Ecological and evolutionary consequences of metabolic rate plasticity in response to environmental change

Norin, T. and Metcalfe, N. B. (2019) Ecological and evolutionary consequences of metabolic rate plasticity in response to environmental change. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 374(1768), 20180180. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2018.0180)

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Abstract

Basal or standard metabolic rate reflects the minimum amount of energy required to maintain body processes, while the maximum metabolic rate sets the ceiling for aerobic work. There is typically up to three-fold intraspecific variation in both minimal and maximal rates of metabolism, even after controlling for size, sex and age; these differences are consistent over time within a given context, but both minimal and maximal metabolic rates are plastic and can vary in response to changing environments. Here we explore the causes of intraspecific and phenotypic variation at the organ, tissue and mitochondrial levels. We highlight the growing evidence that individuals differ predictably in the flexibility of their metabolic rates and in the extent to which they can suppress minimal metabolism when food is limiting but increase the capacity for aerobic metabolism when a high work rate is beneficial. It is unclear why this intraspecific variation in metabolic flexibility persists—possibly because of trade-offs with the flexibility of other traits—but it has consequences for the ability of populations to respond to a changing world. It is clear that metabolic rates are targets of selection, but more research is needed on the fitness consequences of rates of metabolism and their plasticity at different life stages, especially in natural conditions.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This paper was written while N.B.M. was funded by ERC Advanced Grant 322784 and T.N. was funded by Individual Postdoctoral Grant DFF-4181-00297 from the Danish Council for Independent Research as well as PECRE Grant 37 from the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Metcalfe, Professor Neil and Norin, Dr Tommy
Authors: Norin, T., and Metcalfe, N. B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8436
ISSN (Online):1471-2970
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 374(1768):20180180
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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