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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistics and Probability
- Modeling and Simulation
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Applied Mathematics