Modelling nematode life cycles using dynamic energy budgets
Jager, T., Alda Alvarez, O., Kammenga, J. E. and Kooijman, S. A. L. M. 2005.
Modelling nematode life cycles using dynamic energy budgets.
Functional Ecology, 19: 136 - 144.
- To understand the life cycle of an organism, it is important to
understand the underlying physiological mechanisms of their life
histories. We here use the theory of dynamic energy budgets (DEB) to
investigate the close relationships between growth, reproduction and
respiration in nematodes.
- Using a set of simplified equations based on DEB theory, we are
able to accurately describe life-cycle data from the literature for
the free-living bacterivorous nematodes Caenorhabditis
elegans, C. briggsae and Acrobeloides nanus, under
different temperature or food regimes.
- Nematodes apparently differ from other animals, as the initial
growth is slower than expected. We explain this phenomenon by food
limitation in the larvae, which is supported by more detailed
- Food density and temperature are shown to have predictable
effects on the growth curves (temperature affects only growth rate,
whereas food density also affects ultimate size), although the
reproduction patterns reveal some deviations from model
- The presented model integrates the different aspects of the life
cycle into a single framework, and can be applied as such to
interpret the effects of various stressors.