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Biol Lett. 2010 August 23; 6(4): 434–437.
Published online 2010 May 5. doi:  10.1098/rsbl.2010.0240
PMCID: PMC2936225

Body-size distributions and size-spectra: universal indicators of ecological status?


The sizes of individual organisms, rather than their taxonomy, are used to inform management and conservation in some aquatic ecosystems. The European Science Foundation Research Network, SIZEMIC, facilitates integration of such approaches with the more taxonomic approaches used in terrestrial ecology. During its 4-year tenure, the Network is bringing together researchers from disciplines including theorists, empiricists, government employees, and practitioners, via a series of meetings, working groups and research visits. The research conducted suggests that organismal size, with a generous helping of taxonomy, provides the most probable route to universal indicators of ecological status.

Keywords: allometry, taxonomy, ecosystem assessment

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