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  • 1.
    Mauritsson, Karl
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Univ Skovde, Sweden.
    Jonsson, Tomas
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Univ Skovde, Sweden.
    A new mechanistic model for individual growth suggests upregulated maintenance costs when food is scarce in an insect2024In: Ecological Modelling, ISSN 0304-3800, E-ISSN 1872-7026, Vol. 491, article id 110703Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A growing animal ingests food from the environment and distributes the assimilated energy between chemical energy stored in synthesized biomass and energy spent on metabolic processes, including food processing, maintenance, activity and overhead costs for growth. Under food restriction, the growth rate is usually decreased. However, the extent of this reduction may be influenced by a potential trade -off with maintenance metabolism. The latter seems to be down-regulated under food restriction in some animals and up-regulated in others. Recently, the Maintenance-Growth Model (MGM) was developed for ontogenetic and post-mature growth, including several aspects not considered by common mechanistic growth models, most importantly the division of maintenance costs into non-negotiable and negotiable parts, where the latter can be up- or downregulated under food restriction. Using empirical data, MGM has been calibrated and successfully applied to an insect growing under ad libitum conditions. Here, the model is further calibrated to newly collected individual data for the same species growing under two different regimes of food restriction, complemented with previously collected data for food-limited cohorts. We find that two alternative model scenarios of MGM are able to generate rather good predictions of observed growth under food restriction, assuming either upregulated maintenance or decreased effective assimilation (assimilation minus energy spent on processing and searching food). We find the latter scenario least plausible, implying that the current study provides the first indication for the occurrence of upregulated maintenance in an insect species when food is scarce, an unexpected result that requires further investigation. The inclusion of maintenance regulation in MGM enables the new growth model to be used in the modelling of life-history dependent trade-offs between maintenance, growth and maturation for various other species.

  • 2.
    Mauritsson, Karl
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Ecological Modelling Group, School of Bioscience, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden.
    Jonsson, Tomas
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Ecological Modelling Group, School of Bioscience, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden.
    A new flexible model for maintenance and feeding expenses that improves description of individual growth in insects2023In: Scientific Reports, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 13, no 1, article id 16751Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Metabolic theories in ecology interpret ecological patterns at different levels through the lens of metabolism, typically applying allometric scaling to describe energy use. This requires a sound theory for individual metabolism. Common mechanistic growth models, such as 'von Bertalanffy', 'dynamic energy budgets' and the 'ontogenetic growth model' lack some potentially important aspects, especially regarding regulation of somatic maintenance. We develop a model for ontogenetic growth of animals, applicable to ad libitum and food limited conditions, based on an energy balance that expresses growth as the net result of assimilation and metabolic costs for maintenance, feeding and food processing. The most important contribution is the division of maintenance into a 'non-negotiable' and a 'negotiable' part, potentially resulting in hyperallometric scaling of maintenance and downregulated maintenance under food restriction. The model can also account for effects of body composition and type of growth at the cellular level. Common mechanistic growth models often fail to fully capture growth of insects. However, our model was able to capture empirical growth patterns observed in house crickets.

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