IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wop/safiwp/99-07-047.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Fourth Dimension of Life: Fractal Geometry and Allometric Scaling of Organisms

Author

Listed:
  • Geoffrey B. West
  • James H. Brown
  • Brian J. Enquist

Abstract

The existence of fractal-like networks effectively endows life with an additional fourth spatial dimension. This is the origin of quarter-power scaling which is so pervasive in biology. Organisms have evolved hierarchical networks which terminate in invariant units, such as capillaries, leaves, mitochondria, and oxidase molecules, which are independent of organism size. Natural selection has tended to maximize both metabolic capacity by maximizing the scaling of exchange surface areas, and internal efficiency by minimizing the scaling of transport distances and times. These design principles are independent of detailed dynamics and explicit models and should apply to virtually all organisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffrey B. West & James H. Brown & Brian J. Enquist, 1999. "The Fourth Dimension of Life: Fractal Geometry and Allometric Scaling of Organisms," Working Papers 99-07-047, Santa Fe Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:99-07-047
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Elliott, Robert J.R. & Sun, Puyang & Xu, Qiqin, 2015. "Energy distribution and economic growth: An empirical test for China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 24-31.
    2. Sachdeva, Vedant & Phillips, James C., 2016. "Oxygen channels and fractal wave–particle duality in the evolution of myoglobin and neuroglobin," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 463(C), pages 1-11.
    3. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Strulik, Holger, 2011. "Energy distribution and economic growth," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 782-797.
    4. repec:eee:ecomod:v:237-238:y:2012:i::p:74-87 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:ecomod:v:220:y:2009:i:16:p:1880-1885 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:thpobi:v:117:y:2017:i:c:p:23-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:spr:scient:v:112:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2333-y is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Husmann, Kai & Möhring, Bernhard, 2017. "Modelling the economically viable wood in the crown of European beech trees," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 67-77.
    9. Chen, Yanguang, 2017. "Multi-scaling allometric analysis for urban and regional development," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 465(C), pages 673-689.
    10. Chen, Yanguang, 2012. "The mathematical relationship between Zipf’s law and the hierarchical scaling law," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(11), pages 3285-3299.
    11. Song, Dong-Ming & Jiang, Zhi-Qiang & Zhou, Wei-Xing, 2009. "Statistical properties of world investment networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 388(12), pages 2450-2460.
    12. De Martino, S. & De Siena, S., 2012. "Allometry and growth: A unified view," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(18), pages 4302-4307.
    13. Christopher Watts & Nigel Gilbert, 2014. "Simulating Innovation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13981.
    14. Liu, Chuang & Zhou, Wei-Xing & Yuan, Wei-Kang, 2010. "Statistical properties of visibility graph of energy dissipation rates in three-dimensional fully developed turbulence," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(13), pages 2675-2681.
    15. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Strulik, Holger, 2008. "Energy Distribution, Power Laws, and Economic Growth," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-385, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Allometry; fractal geometry; scaling in biology;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:99-07-047. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/epstfus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.