Intraspecific Allometry of Basal Metabolic Rate: Relations with Body Size, Temperature, Composition, and Circadian Phase in the Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus

Serge Daan, Dirkjan Masman, Arjen Strijkstra, Simon Verhulst

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The relationship between body size and basal metabolic rate (BMR) in homeotherms has been treated in the literature primarily by comparison between species of mammals or birds. This paper focuses on the intraindividual changes in BMR when body mass (W) varies with different maintenance regimens. BMR varied in individual kestrels in proportion to W^1.67, which is considerably steeper than the mass exponents for homomorphic change (0.667) for interspecific comparison among all birds (0.677) or raptors (0.678), for interindividual comparison of kestrels on ad libitum maintenance regimens (0.786), and for mass proportionality (1.00). The circadian range of telemetered core temperature also varied more strongly with intraindividual than with interspecific variation in mass. This was due to reduced nocturnal core temperature at low-maintenance regimens, which was, however, insufficient to account for the excessive reduction in BMR. Carcass analysis of eight birds sacrificed revealed a disproportionate reduction in heart and kidney lean mass at low-maintenance regimens. We surmise that variation in BMR primarily reflects variation in these metabolically highly active tissues. This may account for positive correlations found between heart, kidney, and BMR residuals relative to interspecific allometric prediction, and between α and ρ residuals, as expected on the basis of the constant excess of BMR during α above BMR during ρ.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-283
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Biological Rhythms
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989

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