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Data from: Thermal conductance and basal metabolic rate are part of a coordinated system for heat transfer regulation

Citation

Naya, Daniel E.; Spangenberg, Lucía; Naya, Hugo; Bozinovic, Francisco (2013), Data from: Thermal conductance and basal metabolic rate are part of a coordinated system for heat transfer regulation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vs23b

Abstract

Thermal conductance measures the ease with which heat leaves or enters an organism's body. Although the analysis of this physiological variable in relation to climatic and ecological factors can be traced to studies by Scholander and colleagues, only small advances have occurred ever since. Here, we analyse the relationship between minimal thermal conductance estimated during summer (Cmin) and several ecological, climatic and geographical factors for 127 rodent species, in order to identify the exogenous factors that have potentially affected the evolution of thermal conductance. In addition, we evaluate whether there is compensation between Cmin and basal metabolic rate (BMR)—in such a way that a scale-invariant ratio between both variables is equal to one—as could be expected from the Scholander–Irving model of heat transfer. Our major findings are (i) annual mean temperature is the best single predictor of mass-independent Cmin. (ii) After controlling for the effect of body mass, there is a strong positive correlation between log10 (Cmin) and log10 (BMR). Further, the slope of this correlation is close to one, indicating an almost perfect compensation between both physiological variables. (iii) Structural equation modelling indicated that Cmin values are adjusted to BMR values and not the other way around. Thus, our results strongly suggest that BMR and thermal conductance integrate a coordinated system for heat regulation in endothermic animals and that summer conductance values are adjusted (in an evolutionary sense) to track changes in BMRs.

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