A generalized model for estimating the energy density of invertebrates

Freshwater Science
By: , and 



Invertebrate energy density (ED) values are traditionally measured using bomb calorimetry. However, many researchers rely on a few published literature sources to obtain ED values because of time and sampling constraints on measuring ED with bomb calorimetry. Literature values often do not account for spatial or temporal variability associated with invertebrate ED. Thus, these values can be unreliable for use in models and other ecological applications. We evaluated the generality of the relationship between invertebrate ED and proportion of dry-to-wet mass (pDM). We then developed and tested a regression model to predict ED from pDM based on a taxonomically, spatially, and temporally diverse sample of invertebrates representing 28 orders in aquatic (freshwater, estuarine, and marine) and terrestrial (temperate and arid) habitats from 4 continents and 2 oceans. Samples included invertebrates collected in all seasons over the last 19 y. Evaluation of these data revealed a significant relationship between ED and pDM (r2  =  0.96, p < 0.0001), where ED (as J/g wet mass) was estimated from pDM as ED  =  22,960pDM − 174.2. Model evaluation showed that nearly all (98.8%) of the variability between observed and predicted values for invertebrate ED could be attributed to residual error in the model. Regression of observed on predicted values revealed that the 97.5% joint confidence region included the intercept of 0 (−103.0 ± 707.9) and slope of 1 (1.01 ± 0.12). Use of this model requires that only dry and wet mass measurements be obtained, resulting in significant time, sample size, and cost savings compared to traditional bomb calorimetry approaches. This model should prove useful for a wide range of ecological studies because it is unaffected by taxonomic, seasonal, or spatial variability.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A generalized model for estimating the energy density of invertebrates
Series title Freshwater Science
DOI 10.1899/11-057.1
Volume 31
Issue 1
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher The University of Chicago Press
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description 9 p.
First page 69
Last page 77
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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