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Global-scale predictions of community and ecosystem properties from simple ecological theory


Jennings, S and Melin, F and Blanchard, JL and Forster, RM and Dulvy, NK and Wilson, RW, Global-scale predictions of community and ecosystem properties from simple ecological theory, Royal Society of London. Proceedings. Biological Sciences, 275, (1641) pp. 1375-1383. ISSN 0962-8452 (2008) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2008 The Royal Society

DOI: doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.0192


We show how theoretical developments in macroecology, life-history theory and food-web ecology can be combined to formulate a simple model for predicting the potential biomass, production, size and trophic structure of consumer communities. The strength of our approach is that it uses remote sensing data to predict properties of consumer communities in environments that are challenging and expensive to sample directly. An application of the model to the marine environment on a global scale, using primary production and temperature estimates from satellite remote sensing as inputs, suggests that the global biomass of marine animals more than 10(-5) g wet weight is 2.62 x 10(9)t (=8.16 gm(-2) ocean) and production is 1.00 x 10(10) t yr-1 (31.15 gm(-2)yr(-1)). Based on the life-history theory, we propose and apply an approximation for distinguishing the relative contributions of different animal groups. Fish biomass and production, for example, are estimated as 8.99 x 10(8)t (2.80 gm(-2)) and 7.91 x 108 t yr(-1) (2.46 gm(2)yr(-1)respectively, and 50% of fish biomass is shown to occur in 17% of the total ocean area (8.22 gm(-2)). The analyses show that emerging ecological theory can be synthesized to set baselines for assessing human and climate impacts on global scales.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:predicting global fish biomass
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Other biological sciences
Research Field:Global change biology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Blanchard, JL (Professor Julia Blanchard)
ID Code:100506
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:151
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2015-05-18
Last Modified:2015-09-07

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