Enriquez-Urzelai U, Boratyński Z


The use of energy is universal to all life forms and all levels of biological organization, potentially linking processes operating at variable scales. Individual and species ranges might be energetically constrained, yet divergent metabolic limitations at both scales can disassociate these individual and species traits. We analysed comparative energetic and range data to unravel the mechanistic basis of the dissociation between individual and species range sizes observed among mammalian species. Our results demonstrate that basal, or maintenance, metabolism negatively correlates with individual ranges, but, at the same time, it positively correlates with species ranges. High aerobic capacity, i.e. maximum metabolic rate, positively correlates with individual ranges, but it is weakly related to species range size. These antagonistic energetic constraints on both ranges could lead to a disassociation between individual and species traits and to a low covariation between home and species range sizes. We show that important organismal functions, such as basal and maximum metabolic rates, have the potential to unravel mechanisms operating at different levels of biological organization and to expose links between energy-dependent processes at different scales.


Journal: Biology Letters

Link: 10.1098/rsbl.2021.0374