Growth autocorrelation and animal size variation Academic Article uri icon


  • It has long been recognized that variability in animal size is affected by how individual growth rate is autocorrelated in time. Earlier studies have attributed the mechanism generating the autocorrelation primarily to size-dependent growth rate and autocorrelation in resource abundance. All of these studies have shown that positive autocorrelation in individual growth rate always translates into increased variability in size. We show that energy reserves in individuals induce growth autocorrelation by acting like a low pass filter between the resource and the internal energy that is available for metabolism, growth and reproduction. However, the reserve also reduces the variance in growth rate. Consequently, reserve-induced growth autocorrelation has relatively little effect on size variability in the population, contradicting existing ideas about the relationship between the growth autocorrelation and size variability.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Fujiwara, M., Kendall, B. E., & Nisbet, R. M.

citation count

  • 36

complete list of authors

  • Fujiwara, M||Kendall, BE||Nisbet, RM

publication date

  • February 2004