Testing metabolic ecology theory for allometric scaling of tree size, growth and mortality in tropical forests

Helene C. Muller-Landau, Richard S. Condit, Jerome Chave, Sean C. Thomas, Stephanie A. Bohlman, Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin, Stuart Davies, Robin Foster, Savitri Gunatilleke, Nimal Gunatilleke, Kyle E. Harms, Terese Hart, Stephen P. Hubbell, Akira Itoh, Abd Rahman Kassim, James V. LaFrankie, Hua Seng Lee, Elizabeth Losos, Jean Remy Makana, Tatsuhiro OhkuboRaman Sukumar, I. Fang Sun, M. N. Nur Supardi, Sylvester Tan, Jill Thompson, Renato Valencia, Gorky Villa Muñoz, Christopher Wills, Takuo Yamakura, George Chuyong, Handanakere Shivaramaiah Dattaraja, Shameema Esufali, Pamela Hall, Consuelo Hernandez, David Kenfack, Somboon Kiratiprayoon, Hebbalalu S. Suresh, Duncan Thomas, Martha Isabel Vallejo, Peter Ashton

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

274 Citas (Scopus)


The theory of metabolic ecology predicts specific relationships among tree stem diameter, biomass, height, growth and mortality. As demographic rates are important to estimates of carbon fluxes in forests, this theory might offer important insights into the global carbon budget, and deserves careful assessment. We assembled data from 10 old-growth tropical forests encompassing censuses of 367 ha and > 1.7 million trees to test the theory's predictions. We also developed a set of alternative predictions that retained some assumptions of metabolic ecology while also considering how availability of a key limiting resource, light, changes with tree size. Our results show that there are no universal scaling relationships of growth or mortality with size among trees in tropical forests. Observed patterns were consistent with our alternative model in the one site where we had the data necessary to evaluate it, and were inconsistent with the predictions of metabolic ecology in all forests.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)575-588
Número de páginas14
PublicaciónEcology Letters
EstadoPublicada - may. 2006


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