Ontogenetic scaling of fish metabolism in the mouse-to-elephant mass magnitude range

Damian Moran, R.M.G. Wells

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Intraspecific or ontogenetic analyses of mass-metabolism relationships do not often conform to the same allometric correlations as those seen in interspecific analyses. A commonly cited reason for this discrepancy is that ontogenetic studies examine smaller mass ranges than interspecific studies, and are therefore not statistically comparable. In this study the metabolic rate of yellowtail kingfish was measured from 0.6 mg-2.2 kg, a mass range comparable to that between a mouse and an elephant. Linear regression of the log transformed data resulted in a scaling exponent of 0.90 and high correlation coefficient. Statistical and information theory comparisons of three other models showed that a segmented linear regression and curvilinear quadratic function were an improvement over a simple linear regression. This confirmed previous observations that the metabolic scaling exponent of fish changes during ontogeny. Ammonia excretion rates were also measured and scaled linearly with an exponent of 0.87. The data showed that the metabolism of yellowtail kingfish during ontogeny did not scale with the commonly cited 2/3 or 3/4 mass exponent. This demonstrates that differences between interspecific and ontogenetic allometries are not necessarily statistical artefacts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology A-Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)611-620
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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