m.r.Life ι**=7/3ψ

Natural selection time

The pace of natural selection is selected as the inverse of mass specific metabolism

With mass specific metabolism being selected as the pace of the biochemical, physiological and ecological processes of resource handling, we can follow Pearl (1928) and others like Brody (1945), Hill (1950), Stahl (1962) and Calder (1984), and define an overall biological timescale

τ ∝ 1 / β

as inversely related to mass specific metabolism (β). The inverse relationship represents an expected invariance when biological time is defined from metabolic pace; but it is also a relationship that is selected directly by the mass-rescaling of the life history.

The biological timescale is essential not only for rates of physiological processes. It is also defining the timescale of natural selection because natural selection is selecting changes between generations.

Download publications

bioRxiv 088997 (2016)Download

The natural selection of metabolism bends body mass evolution in time

Oikos 127:991-1000 (2018)Download

The natural selection of metabolism explains curvature in allometric scaling


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  • Pearl, R. 1928. The rate of living. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.
  • Stahl, W.R. 1962. Similarity and dimensional methods in biology. Science 137:205--212.