An adaptation process in the transportation network of Physarum plasmodium was investigated by measuring oxygen consumption during network formation. Simultaneously, the fractal dimension as a measure of network structure was estimated. Oxygen consumption decreased during the development of the network, whereas the network structure changed from a thin mesh-type to a thick dendritic type. Our data suggested that the morphology of the plasmodial network governed energy consumption; a low dimensional network in the sense of the fractal dimension reduced energy consumption. These data were supported by experimental results excluding biological reasons, such as differences in starvation/nutrient-fullness states, and aspects of mitochondrial distribution. Model analysis using the Physarum algorithm with volume conservation constraints confirmed the above findings.
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