benthic discuss 4 - Andrews' chapter on "size"...

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Andrews’ chapter on “size” gives an overview on the evolution of organisms from a small, unicellular microbe to the large, multicellular macroorganisms we see today. He also outlines some of the limitations and controls on body size and how body size can be used to compare various organisms and make inferences about their life strategies given their particular environments. One of the strongest and most dominant controls on and organism’s size are metabolic and energetic limits. Andrews outlines the trend that larger organisms require more energy per unit of time than smaller organisms. This translates into larger organisms requiring greater food resources than smaller organisms. Temperature also greatly affects poikilotherms in that it often controls enzyme activity and metabolic rate. Sebens wrote a review paper to compile the results of various studies on a variety of sizes of marine intertidal and subtidal organisms, their distribution patterns, and the processes controlling these patterns. He also identified metabolic requirements as being a major control on the size of organisms found in a given environment. Sebens observed that smaller organisms were found in areas of increased exposure time. Most organisms in an intertidal environment are filter feeders and rely on the water to deliver food particles. The longer these organisms are exposed to the air, the less food they can
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benthic discuss 4 - Andrews' chapter on "size"...

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