Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 307–311

Allometric aspects of population dynamics: A symmetry approach

  • E. L. Charnov

DOI: 10.1007/BF02270967

Cite this article as:
Charnov, E.L. Evol Ecol (1992) 6: 307. doi:10.1007/BF02270967


The maximum intrinsic rate of increase (rmax) shows a −0.25 scaling with adult body weight (W) in mammals (and others). Average adult life span (1/M) and age at maturity (α) show −0.25 scalings, independent of population size; these two lead to thermax scaling, providedRo is invariant with body size in rarified populations (=Rom). Thus thermax scaling follows from the existence of two population size symmetries (i.e. 1/M and α) and one body size symmetry (Ro). The theory provides a formula to calculate the height (A3) of the scalingrmax=A3·W−0.25. The theory also helps to explain ‘Fowler's Rules’, which linkRom to the relative position of the inflection point of the population growth curve.


body size scaling invariants-life history population growth-Fowler's Rules dimensional analysis mammals-population growth symmetry 

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. L. Charnov
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA