Environmental Geology & Geochemistry Seminar (EGGS): Deutsch

Thu, Sep 16, 2021, 12:30 pm
Guyot 220


Relationships between body size and temperature are widely observed in laboratory experiments and the geological record of marine species, but a predictive theory is lacking.We derive a mechanistic model to predict this ‘Temperature Size Rule’ from organismal O_2 supply and demand across the range of ocean temperatures and body sizes. The model predicts a magnitude and variability of inter-generational size reductions consistent with laboratory experiments and fossil evidence of diverse aquatic species, supporting O_2 limitation as the underlying mechanism. Stronger temperature-size responses among larger species arise from convergent trends in allometric dependence of metabolic rate and diffusive O_2 supply, consistent with both theoretical scaling and measured species traits across the size spectrum from microbes to macrofauna. Without rapid physiological adaptation, accelerating ocean warming and O_2 loss in this century will cause >20% reductions in the body mass of the smallest animal species, with larger and more variable shrinkage at higher trophic levels, compounding the direct impact of human harvesting on size-structured ocean food webs.

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