Body Size Patterns (body + size_pattern)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The geography of body size , challenges of the interspecific approach

GLOBAL ECOLOGY, Issue 6 2007
Shai Meiri
ABSTRACT Recent compilations of large-scale data bases on the geographical distributions and body sizes of animals, coupled with developments in spatial statistics, have led to renewed interest in the geographical distribution of animal body sizes and the interspecific version of Bergmann's rule. Standard practice seems to be an examination of mean body sizes within higher taxa on gridded maps, with little regard to species richness or phylogeny. However, because the frequency distribution of body sizes is typically highly skewed, average size within grid cells may differ significantly between species-rich and species-poor cells even when the median and modal sizes remain constant. Species richness influences body size patterns because species are not added to communities at random in relation to their size: areas of low diversity are characterized by a higher range of body sizes than is expected by chance. Finally, a consideration of phylogenetic structure within taxa is necessary to elucidate whether patterns in the geography of size result from turnover between or within intermediate taxonomic levels. We suggest that the highest and lowest quantiles of body size distribution be mapped in order to expose possible physiological or ecological limitations on body size. [source]

Bergmann's rule does not apply to geometrid moths along an elevational gradient in an Andean montane rain forest

GLOBAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2004
Gunnar Brehm
ABSTRACT Aim, Bergmann's rule generally predicts larger animal body sizes with colder climates. We tested whether Bergmann's rule at the interspecific level applies to moths (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) along an extended elevational gradient in the Ecuadorian Andes. Location, Moths were sampled at 22 sites in the province Zamora-Chinchipe in southern Ecuador in forest habitats ranging from 1040 m to 2677 m above sea level. Methods, Wingspans of 2282 male geometrid moths representing 953 species were measured and analysed at the level of the family Geometridae, as well as for the subfamily Ennominae with the tribes Boarmiini and Ourapterygini, and the subfamily Larentiinae with the genera Eois, Eupithecia and Psaliodes. Results, Bergmann's rule was not supported since the average wingspan of geometrid moths was negatively correlated with altitude (r = ,0.59, P < 0.005). The relationship between body size and altitude in Geometridae appears to be spurious because species of the subfamily Larentiinae are significantly smaller than species of the subfamily Ennominae and simultaneously increase in their proportion along the gradient. A significant decrease of wingspan was also found in the ennomine tribe Ourapterygini, but no consistent body size patterns were found in the other six taxa studied. In most taxa, body size variation increases with altitude, suggesting that factors acting to constrain body size might be weaker at high elevations. Main conclusions, The results are in accordance with previous studies that could not detect consistent body size patterns in insects at the interspecific level along climatic gradients. [source]

Body size,climate relationships of European spiders

Wiebke Entling
Abstract Aim, Geographic body size patterns of mammals and birds can be partly understood under the framework of Bergmann's rule. Climatic influences on body size of invertebrates, however, appear highly variable and lack a comparable, generally applicable theoretical framework. We derived predictions for body size,climate relationships for spiders from the literature and tested them using three datasets of variable spatial extent and grain. Location, Europe. Methods, To distinguish climate from space, we compared clines in body size within three datasets with different degrees of co-variation between latitude and climate. These datasets were: (1) regional spider faunas from 40 European countries and large islands; (2) local spider assemblages from standardized samples in 32 habitats across Europe; and (3) local spider assemblages from Central European habitats. In the latter dataset climatic conditions were determined more by habitat type than by geographic position, and therefore this dataset provided a non-spatial gradient of various microclimates. Spider body size was studied in relation to latitude, temperature and water availability. Results, In all three datasets the mean body size of spider assemblages increased from cool/moist to warm/dry environments. This increase could be accounted for by turnover from small-bodied to large-bodied spider families. Body size,climate relationships within families were inconsistent. Main conclusions, Starvation resistance and accelerated maturation can be ruled out as explanations for the body size clines recorded, because they predict the inverse of the observed relationship between spider body size and temperature. The relationship between body size and climate was partly independent of geographic position. Thus, the restriction of large-bodied spiders to their glacial refugia owing to dispersal limitations can be excluded. Our results are consistent with mechanisms invoking metabolic rate, desiccation resistance and community interactions to predict a decrease in body size from warm and dry to cool and moist conditions. [source]

Biodiversity conservation in Mediterranean and Black Sea lagoons: a trait-oriented approach to benthic invertebrate guilds

A. Basset
Abstract 1. The extent to which conservation of biodiversity enforces the protection of ecosystem functioning, goods and services is a key issue in conservation ecology. 2. In order to address this conservation issue, this work focused on community organization, linking community structure, as described both in taxonomic and functional terms, to community functioning and ecosystem processes. 3. Body size is an individual functional trait that is deterministically related to components of ecosystem functioning such as population dynamics and energy flow, and which determines components of community structure. Since body size is an individual trait that reflects numerous factors, it is also exposed to trait selection and the niche filtering underlying the community. 4. An analysis of the relevance of body size to community organization in transitional water ecosystems in the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea regions is presented, based on field research conducted on a sample of 15 transitional water ecosystems. 5. 250 taxa were identified, clumped in five orders of magnitude of body size. All body size patterns showed triangular distributions with an optimal size range of 0.13 mg to 1.0 mg individual body mass. 6. Deterministic components of size structure were emphasized and a hierarchical organization with dominance of large sizes was demonstrated by the slopes of the body size-abundance distributions, consistently larger than the EER threshold (b=,0.75), and by the direct relationship of energy use to body size for most of the body size range. 7. Consistent variations of body size-related descriptors were observed on three main gradients of environmental stress: eutrophication, confinement and metal pollution. 8. The results support the relevance of constraints imposed by individual body size on community organization in transitional water ecosystems and the adequacy of size patterns as an indicator for ecological conservation of these fragile ecosystems. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Ecological and evolutionary components of body size: geographic variation of venomous snakes at the global scale

Biogeographical patterns of animal body size and the environmental and evolutionary mechanisms that may be driving them have been broadly investigated in macroecology, although just barely in ectotherms. We separately studied two snake clades, Viperidae and Elapidae, and used phylogenetic eigenvector regression and ordinary least squares multiple regression methods to perform a global grid-based analysis of the extent at which the patterns of body size (measured for each species as its log10 -transformed maximum body length) of these groups are phylogenetically structured or driven by current environment trends. Phylogenetic relatedness explained 20% of the across-species size variation in Viperidae, and 59% of that of Elapidae, which is a more recent clade. Conversely, when we analysed spatial trends in mean body size values (calculated for each grid-cell as the average size of its extant species), an environmental model including temperature, precipitation, primary productivity (as indicated by the global vegetation index) and topography (range in elevation) explained 37.6% of the variation of Viperidae, but only 4.5% of that of Elapidae. These contrasted responses of body size patterns to current environment gradients are discussed, taking into consideration the dissimilar evolutionary histories of these closely-related groups. Additionally, the results obtained emphasize the importance of the need to start adopting deconstructive approaches in macroecology. 2009 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2009, 98, 94,109. [source]