Biology ETDs

Author

John M. Grady

Publication Date

7-1-2016

Abstract

Energy is a common currency of ecological interactions. In this dissertation, I consider ecological energetics at different temporal, spatial and organizational scales. In my first chapter, I examine the energetics and thermoregulation of an enigmatic taxon: dinosaurs. From fossil evidence and assessment of living vertebrates I conclude that many non-avian dinosaurs were likely thermally intermediate, or 'mesothermic'. In my second chapter I detail the empirical evidence gathered to buttress my claim of dinosaur mesothermy. In my third chapter, I show how ecosystem rates of carbon flux, gross primary production and total biomass can be linked to individual body size. In my fourth and final chapter I explore how differences in metabolism and thermoregulation lead to predictable difference in marine predator biogeography, diversity and food consumption at ecosystem scales. A focus on organismal energetics offers insight into ecological interactions across space and time.

Language

English

Keywords

Ecology Energetics Metabolic Macroecology Biogeography Dinosaurs

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Biology

Level of Degree

Doctoral

Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Advisor

Smith, Felisa A

First Committee Member (Chair)

Brown, James H

Second Committee Member

Witt, Christopher

Third Committee Member

Sibly, Richard

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