Biological time value

Bruce Hannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A measure of time value for living species, a natural discount rate, is proposed. It is the rate at which a species reveals its progressive disregard of the importance of future events. The discount rate is shown to be equal to the average (standard) metabolic rate for the species at a steady-state condition. The connection of the discount rate to standard empirical measures allows it to be assigned a numerical value. Knowing a species' discount rate should help determine its successional success and allow more meaningful solutions to optimality problems in biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-140
Number of pages26
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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