, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 269–271

Production, reproduction and size in mammals


  • David Western
    • New York Zoological SocietyUniversity of Nairobi
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00378847

Cite this article as:
Western, D. Oecologia (1983) 59: 269. doi:10.1007/BF00378847


It is argued that birth rate, turnover rate and production/biomass ratios (P/B) are equivalent in stable populations. It is then shown from field data on 21 mammal species that production scales as a 2/3 power of body mass, suggesting that size rather than life history characteristics explain most interspecific variation. The relationship simolifies calculations of annual production in populations and energy flow through communities.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983