MetaR, a global database on metabolic rates of ectotherms

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Felix P. Leiva , Wilco C.E.P. Verberk, Piero Calosi, Enrico L. Rezende, Felix C. Mark


Whole-organism metabolic rate is a key trait for understanding ectotherms’ responses to ongoing environmental change. It represents the interface through which organisms interact with their environment and therefore allows for making predictions across various levels of biological organisation. While much of the variation in metabolic rates is explained by body size and temperature, a considerable part of this variation remains unexplained. Lack of standard research practices, data sparsity and insufficient coverage of various taxa limit our capacity to conduct a meaningful synthesis across the Tree of Life; both in the spatial and the temporal dimension. To overcome these limitations, and acquire a better understanding of the evolution of metabolic rates, we created MetaR: which is to date the most comprehensive database on intra- and interspecific variations in ectotherms’ metabolic rates. This database currently comprises over 95,000 records covering more than 2,400 species across 16 phyla of ectotherms, encompassing both invertebrates and small and large vertebrates from marine, intertidal, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. MetaR also integrates methodological details, which further improves our capacity, on the one hand, to detect ecological, physiological and evolutionary patterns and, on the other hand, to forecast the functional impacts of global environmental changes across the Tree of Life from a metabolic perspective



Life Sciences



Published: 2024-04-12 20:28


CC-By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:

Data and Code Availability Statement:
All materials, including the database, R code, and supplementary content are under embargo