Allometric and phylogenetic variation in insect phosphorus content

H. A. Woods, W. F. Fagan, James Elser, Jon Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

1. Phosphorus content was measured in adult insects and arachnids from 170 species collected in the Sonoran Desert. 2. Across insect body sizes spanning four orders of magnitude, phosphorus content was inversely related to body mass. The largest species (∼1 g dry) had phosphorus contents that were only about 60% (0.62% P absolute) as high as phosphorus contents of the smallest species (∼0.0001 g dry; 0.97% P). Negative phosphorus allometry was observed within each of seven insect orders and within arachnids. 3. Phosphorus contents of insect predators and herbivores were statistically indistinguishable. 4. More recently derived orders tended to have lower phosphorus contents - with the exception of the most recently derived group (Panorpida = Diptera + Lepidoptera), which had high phosphorus contents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalFunctional Ecology
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2004

Keywords

  • Allometry
  • Body size
  • Exoskeleton
  • Phosphorus limitation
  • Stoichiometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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