Interaction of Size and Temperature on Ectotherm Metabolic Regulation

Ashley Donovan, Amelia Gordon, Kaitlyn Edmondson, Scott Goeppner


Previous studies have shown that size and temperature each independently interact with ectotherm metabolic rate. This study tested the metabolic rates of both small and large ectotherms in different temperatures to find the interaction between size and temperature. To test this, we used biochambers, carbon dioxide probes, mealworms and superworms. Different groups of each species of ectotherm were exposed to either room temperature conditions, around 23 degrees Celsius, or 28 degrees Celsius conditions. Data was collected that showed their metabolic rates in these conditions. These results showed that the larger ectotherms had a higher metabolic rate change in the heated conditions. The results showed that there is an interactive relationship between size and temperature in ectotherm metabolic regulation. Furthermore, this provides evidence that the larger ectotherms are better suited for colder climates than smaller ectotherms.


Ectotherm, Metabolic rate, Temperature, Size

Full Text:



Gilloly, J.F., et. al. 2001. Effects of size and temperature on metabolic rate. Science. 293:2248-2251.

Pincheria-Donoso, et. al. 2008. The evolution of body size under environmental gradients in ectotherms: why should Bergmann’s rule apply to lizards? BMC Evolutionary Biology. 8:68.

Zuo, W., et. al. 2012. A general model for effects on temperature on ectotherm ontogenetic growth and development. Proceedings on the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279 (1734), 1840-1846.


  • There are currently no refbacks.