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On GaiaA Critical Investigation of the Relationship between Life and Earth$
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Toby Tyrrell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691121581

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691121581.001.0001

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Temperature Paces Life

Temperature Paces Life

(p.67) Chapter 4 Temperature Paces Life
On Gaia

Toby Tyrrell

Princeton University Press

This chapter addresses the question of optimal temperatures by looking at the evidence from physiological and ecological studies—evidence from studying living organisms. It summarizes what is known about the effects of temperature on growth, metabolic rates, primary production, biomass, and biodiversity. In each case, the overall tendency is a positive correlation with temperature—higher values at higher temperatures, lower values at lower temperatures. There are however plenty of exceptions, such as biomass and primary production in the sea and in deserts, and biodiversity in shallow versus deep seafloor muds. By building toward a mechanistic understanding of temperature effects, this study can overcome the habitat commitment obstacle.

Keywords:   optimal temperatures, living organisms, temperature, growth, metabolic rates, primary production, biomass, biodiversity, temperature effects, habitat commitment

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