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From bacteria to whales: using functional size spectra to model marine ecosystems

Blanchard, JL ORCID: 0000-0003-0532-4824, Heneghan, RF, Everett, JD, Trebilco, R ORCID: 0000-0001-9712-8016 and Richardson, AJ 2017 , 'From bacteria to whales: using functional size spectra to model marine ecosystems' , Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 32, no. 3 , pp. 174-186 , doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2016.12.003.

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Size-based ecosystem modeling is emerging as a powerful way to assess ecosystem-level impacts of human- and environment-driven changes from individual-level processes. These models have evolved as mechanistic explanations for observed regular patterns of abundance across the marine size spectrum hypothesized to hold from bacteria to whales. Fifty years since the first size spectrum measurements, we ask how far have we come? Although recent modeling studies capture an impressive range of sizes, complexity, and real-world applications, ecosystem coverage is still only partial. We describe how this can be overcome by unifying functional traits with size spectra (which we call functional size spectra) and highlight the key knowledge gaps that need to be filled to model ecosystems from bacteria to whales.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Blanchard, JL and Heneghan, RF and Everett, JD and Trebilco, R and Richardson, AJ
Keywords: ecosystem modelling, ecological theory, foodwebs, ecosystem function, ecological pyramids
Journal or Publication Title: Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Publisher: Elsevier Science London
ISSN: 0169-5347
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.tree.2016.12.003
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Elsevier Ltd.

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