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rate of consumptionKonsumptionsrate (ger.)

  • The rate of intake of matter as food by an organism or class of organisms (on one trophic level) relative to the available matter.

    Under what conditions do the Aphides exhibit this strange deviation from the habits of their order? Why among them should imperfect females produce, agamically, others like themselves, generation after generation, with great rapidity? There is the obvious explanation that they get plenty of easily-assimilated food without exertion. Piercing the tender coats of young shoots, they sit and suck—appropriating the nitrogenous elements of the sap and ejecting its saccharine matter as “honey dew.” Along with a sluggishness strongly contrasted with the activity of their allies—along with a very low rate of consumption and a correlative degradation of structure; we have here a retrogression to asexual genesis, and a greatly-increased rate of multiplication.

    Spencer, H. (1867). Principles of Biology, vol. 2: 466.


    [the evidence of a causal relationship between the mutual fluctuations of the two groups [planktonic plants and planktonic animals] is as strong as could be expected without precise numerical information as to the abundance of herbivores and their consumption rate.

    Bigelow, H.B., Lillick, L.C. & Sears, M. (1940). Phytoplankton and planktonic protozoa of the offshore waters of the gulf of Maine. Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc. 31, 149-237: 171.]


    rate of consumption per unit of population

    Clarke, G.L., Edmondson, W.T. & Ricker, W.E. (1946). Mathematical formulation of biological productivity. Ecol. Monogr. 16, 336-337: 336.