Traits controlling body size in copepods: separating general constraints from species-specific strategies

Neil S. Banas, Robert G. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


A new synthesis of laboratory measurements of food-saturated development and growth across diverse copepod taxa was conducted in a theoretical framework that distinguishes general allometric constraints on copepod physiology from contingent strategies that correlate with size for other reasons. After temperature correction, the allometry of growth rate is inconsistent between the ontogeny of Calanus spp., where it follows the classic -0.3 power-law scaling, and a broader spectrum of adult size Wa(0.3 to 2000 μg C, Oithona spp. to Neocalanus spp.), across which the classic scaling appears to represent only an upper limit. Over the full size spectrum, after temperature correction, a growth rate grelative to the -0.3 power law correlates with adult size better than does relative (temperature-corrected) development rate u0; in contrast, at a finer scale of diversity (among Calanus spp., or among large (>50 μg C) calanoids in general), uis the better correlate with adult size and the effect of gis insignificant. Across all these scales, the ratio of relative growth and development rates g0/uis a better predictor of adult size than gor ualone, consistent with a simple model of individual growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2016


  • body size
  • copepods
  • development rate
  • diversity
  • growth rate
  • trait-based
  • zooplankton


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