Integrating Mitochondrial Aerobic Metabolism into Ecology and Evolution

Rebecca E. Koch, Katherine L. Buchanan, Stefania Casagrande, Ondi Crino, Damian K. Dowling, Geoffrey E. Hill, Wendy R. Hood, Matthew McKenzie, Mylene M. Mariette, Daniel W.A. Noble, Alexandra Pavlova, Frank Seebacher, Paul Sunnucks, Eve Udino, Craig R. White, Karine Salin, Antoine Stier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Biologists have long appreciated the critical role that energy turnover plays in understanding variation in performance and fitness among individuals. Whole-organism metabolic studies have provided key insights into fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes. However, constraints operating at subcellular levels, such as those operating within the mitochondria, can also play important roles in optimizing metabolism over different energetic demands and time scales. Herein, we explore how mitochondrial aerobic metabolism influences different aspects of organismal performance, such as through changing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. We consider how such insights have advanced our understanding of the mechanisms underpinning key ecological and evolutionary processes, from variation in life-history traits to adaptation to changing thermal conditions, and we highlight key areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)P321-332
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Ecology & Evolution
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • bioenergetics
  • life-history trade-off
  • metabolic rate
  • mitochondrial efficiency
  • mitochondrial uncoupling
  • reactive oxygen species

Cite this