Indirect measures of soil invertebrate body mass M based on equations relating the latter to body length (l) are becoming increasingly used due to the required painstaking laboratory work and the technical difficulties involved in obtaining some thousands of reliable weight estimates for animals that can be very small. The implicit assumption of such equations is that dM/dV=delta, where V is body volume and delta is a constant density value. Classical Euclidean scaling implies that V is proportional to l(3) proportional to M. One may thus derive M from l when the latter can provide a good estimate of V and the assumption of a constant delta is respected. In invertebrates, equations relating weight to length indicate that the power model always provides the best fit. However, authors only focused on the empirical estimation of slopes linking the body mass to the length measure variables, sometimes fitting exponential and linear models that are not theoretically grounded. This paper explicates how power laws derive from fundamental Euclidean scaling and describes the expected allometric exponents under the above assumptions. Based on the classical Euclidean scaling theory, an equivalent sphere is defined as a theoretical sphere with a volume equal to that of the organism whose body mass must be estimated. The illustrated application to a data set on soil oribatid mites helps clarify all these issues. Lastly, a general procedure for more precise estimation of M from V and delta is suggested.

Caruso, T., & Migliorini, M. (2009). Euclidean geometry explains why lengths allow precise body mass estimates in terrestrial invertebrates: the case of oribatid mites. JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY, 256(3), 436-440 [10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.09.033].

Euclidean geometry explains why lengths allow precise body mass estimates in terrestrial invertebrates: the case of oribatid mites

Caruso, T.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Migliorini, M.
2009

Abstract

Indirect measures of soil invertebrate body mass M based on equations relating the latter to body length (l) are becoming increasingly used due to the required painstaking laboratory work and the technical difficulties involved in obtaining some thousands of reliable weight estimates for animals that can be very small. The implicit assumption of such equations is that dM/dV=delta, where V is body volume and delta is a constant density value. Classical Euclidean scaling implies that V is proportional to l(3) proportional to M. One may thus derive M from l when the latter can provide a good estimate of V and the assumption of a constant delta is respected. In invertebrates, equations relating weight to length indicate that the power model always provides the best fit. However, authors only focused on the empirical estimation of slopes linking the body mass to the length measure variables, sometimes fitting exponential and linear models that are not theoretically grounded. This paper explicates how power laws derive from fundamental Euclidean scaling and describes the expected allometric exponents under the above assumptions. Based on the classical Euclidean scaling theory, an equivalent sphere is defined as a theoretical sphere with a volume equal to that of the organism whose body mass must be estimated. The illustrated application to a data set on soil oribatid mites helps clarify all these issues. Lastly, a general procedure for more precise estimation of M from V and delta is suggested.
Caruso, T., & Migliorini, M. (2009). Euclidean geometry explains why lengths allow precise body mass estimates in terrestrial invertebrates: the case of oribatid mites. JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY, 256(3), 436-440 [10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.09.033].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/1212556