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Body Size and Numbers of Plants and Animals
Leigh Van Valen
Vol. 27, No. 1 (Mar., 1973), pp. 27-35
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2407116
Page Count: 9
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The degree of dominance of a species (or set of species) in an ecosystem (local or global) is the proportion of a limiting resource, especially energy, that it controls per individual (or species). Evolution as well as the structure of the ecosystem is thereby constrained. Larger and more predaceous mammals both tend to have more widespread species ranges. Examination of global patterns for recent angiosperms, birds, and mammals shows that with larger body size there are fewer species and fewer species per genus, but not necessarily less participation in the energy flow.
Evolution © 1973 Society for the Study of Evolution