The application of mass and energy conservation laws in physiologically structured population models of heterotrophic organisms.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Rules for energy uptake, and subsequent utilization, form the basis of population dynamics and, therefore, explain the dynamics of the ecosystem structure in terms of changes in standing crops and size distributions of individuals. Mass fluxes are concomitant with energy flows and delineate functional aspects of ecosystems by defining the roles of individuals and populations. The assumption of homeostasis of body components, and an assumption about the general structure of energy budgets, imply that mass fluxes can be written as weighted sums of three organizing energy fluxes with the weight coefficients determined by the conservation law of mass. These energy fluxes are assimilation, maintenance and growth, and provide a theoretical underpinning of the widely applied empirical method of indirect calorimetry, which relates dissipating heat linearly to three mass fluxes: carbon dioxide production, oxygen consumption and N-waste production. A generic approach to the stoichiometry of population energetics from the perspective of the individual organism is proposed and illustrated for heterotrophic organisms. This approach indicates that mass transformations can be identified by accounting for maintenance requirements and overhead costs for the various metabolic processes at the population level. The theoretical background for coupling the dynamics of the structure of communities to nutrient cycles, including the water balance, as well as explicit expressions for the dissipating heat at the population level are obtained based on the conservation law of energy. Specifications of the general theory employ the Dynamic Energy Budget model for individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-392
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume197
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The application of mass and energy conservation laws in physiologically structured population models of heterotrophic organisms.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this