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Type: Journal article
Title: Meta-analysis reveals that resting metabolic rate is not consistently related to fitness and performance in animals
Author: Arnold, P.A.
Delean, S.
Cassey, P.
White, C.R.
Citation: Journal of Comparative Physiology B: biochemical, systemic, and environmental physiology, 2021; 191(6):1097-1110
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 0174-1578
Statement of
Pieter A. Arnold, Steven Delean, Phillip Cassey, Craig R. White
Abstract: Explaining variation in the fitness of organisms is a fundamental goal in evolutionary ecology. Maintenance energy metabolism is the minimum energy required to sustain biological processes at rest (resting metabolic rate: RMR) and is proposed to drive or constrain fitness of animals; however, this remains debated. Hypotheses have been proposed as to why fitness might increase with RMR (the ‘increased intake’ or ‘performance’ hypothesis), decrease with RMR (the ‘compensation’ or ‘allocation’ hypothesis), or vary among species and environmental contexts (the ‘context dependent’ hypothesis). Here, we conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature, finding 114 studies with 355 relationships between RMR and traits that may be related to fitness. We show that individuals with relatively high RMR generally have high fitness overall, which might be supported by an increased energy intake. However, fitness proxies are not interchangeable: the nature of the RMR–fitness relationship varied substantially depending on the specific trait in question, and we found no consistent relationship between RMR and those traits most closely linked with actual fitness (i.e., lifetime reproductive success). We hypothesise that maintaining high RMR is not costly when resources are unlimited, and we propose ideas for future studies to identify mechanisms underlying RMR–fitness relationships.
Keywords: Ectotherm; endotherm; evolutionary physiology; survival; reproduction; RMR
Description: Published online: 15 March 2021
Rights: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH, DE part of Springer Nature 2021
DOI: 10.1007/s00360-021-01358-w
Grant ID: ARC
Published version:
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