Optimal metabolic patterns in seasonally changing environments
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Living organisms are metabolically active throughout their lives; they take up resources from their environment, convert these resources into useful materials and get rid of wastes. The sum of these reactions and processes is called metabolic activity and we can express its speed by the metabolic rate. Species of various kind exhibit great variability in metabolic rate, regarding both its lifetime mean value and its seasonal changes. Metabolic rate is an important factor in population dynamics, because, by multiplicatively influencing the magnitude of the growth rate, it determines how much an individual experiences the favourable or unfavourable environmental conditions. Considering evolutionary competition, the optimal seasonal metabolic pattern is inevitably a ected by the amount of resources and the environmental temperature. This raises the question that, under given environmental conditions in a seasonally changing environment, what the evolutionarily stable metabolic pattern is. To examine this question we used the resource-consumer model of MacArthur as a starting point.