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The increasing availability of high-frequency freshwater ecosystem metabolism data provides an opportunity to identify links between metabolic regimes, as gross primary production and ecosystem respiration patterns, and consumer energetics with the potential to improve our current understanding of consumer dynamics (e.g., population dynamics, community structure, trophic interactions). We describe a conceptual framework linking metabolic regimes of flowing waters with consumer community dynamics. We use this framework to identify three emerging research needs: (1) quantifying the linkage of metabolism and consumer production data via food web theory and carbon use efficiencies, (2) evaluating the roles of metabolic dynamics and other environmental regimes (e.g., hydrology, light) in consumer dynamics, and (3) determining the degree to which metabolic regimes influence the evolution of consumer traits and phenology. Addressing these needs will improve the understanding of consumer biomass and production patterns as metabolic regimes can be viewed as an emergent property of food webs.