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The energy requirements of a western chipmunk, Eutamias townsendii.
Taxonomic and general natural history studies have been complemented by physiological and energetic considerations. This additional emphasis is necessary if the functional role that each species plays in the ecosystem is to be determined. To ascertain each species' energetic relationship, data on food habits, behavior, population dynamics and metabolic physiology must be collected. Once collected, these data can be incorporated into an energetic mosaic evaluating each species capability for capturing and utilizing a limited energy source. Ideally, these energy mosaics can be combined to provide an insight into ecosystem dynamics and to serve as tools in the prudent management of ecosystems.