Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The Minimal boundary curve for endothermy as a predictor of heterothermy in mammals and birds: a review
Contributor(s): Cooper, Christine Eliza (author); Geiser, Fritz (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2008
DOI: 10.1007/s00360-007-0193-0
Handle Link:
Abstract: According to the concept of the 'minimal boundary curve for endothermy', mammals and birds with a basal metabolic rate (BMR) that falls below the curve are obligate heterotherms and must enter torpor. We examined the reliability of the boundary curve (on a double log plot transformed to a line) for predicting torpor as a function of body mass and BMR for birds and several groups of mammals. The boundary line correctly predicted heterothermy in 87.5% of marsupials (n = 64), 94% of bats (n = 85) and 82.3% of rodents (n = 157). Our analysis shows that the boundary line is not a reliable predictor for use of torpor. A discriminate analysis using body mass and BMR had a similar predictive power as the boundary line. However, there are sufficient exceptions to both methods of analysis to suggest that the relationship between body mass, BMR and heterothermy is not a causal one. Some homeothermic birds (e.g. silvereyes) and rodents (e.g. hopping mice) fall below the boundary line, and there are many examples of heterothermic species that fall above the boundary line. For marsupials and bats, but not for rodents, there was a highly significant phylogenetic pattern for heterothermy, suggesting that taxonomic affiliation is the biggest determinant of heterothermy for these mammalian groups. For rodents, heterothermic species had lower BMRs than homeothermic species. Low BMR and use of torpor both contribute to reducing energy expenditure and both physiological traits appear to be a response to the same selective pressure of fluctuating food supply, increasing fitness in endothermic species that are constrained by limited energy availability. Both the minimal boundary line and discriminate analysis were of little value for predicting the use of daily torpor or hibernation in heterotherms, presumably as both daily torpor and hibernation are precisely controlled processes, not an inability to thermoregulate.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology, 178(1), p. 1-8
Publisher: Springer
Place of Publication: Berlin, Germany
ISSN: 0174-1578
Field of Research (FOR): 060604 Comparative Physiology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Statistics to Oct 2018: Visitors: 41
Views: 62
Downloads: 0
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

Files in This Item:
2 files
File Description SizeFormat 
Show full item record


checked on Nov 26, 2018

Page view(s)

checked on Feb 8, 2019
Google Media

Google ScholarTM





Items in Research UNE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.