Taylor's law and body size in exploited marine ecosystems
Article first published online: 15 NOV 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Ecology and Evolution
Volume 2, Issue 12, pages 3168–3178, December 2012
How to Cite
Ecology and Evolution 2012; 2(12): 3168–3178
- Issue published online: 13 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 15 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 26 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 6 SEP 2012
- Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Grant Number: 08-UOC-034
- U.S. National Science Foundation grant. Grant Number: EF-1038337
- Balanced harvesting;
- density-mass allometry;
- power law;
- size spectrum;
- variance-mass allometry
Taylor's law (TL), which states that variance in population density is related to mean density via a power law, and density-mass allometry, which states that mean density is related to body mass via a power law, are two of the most widely observed patterns in ecology. Combining these two laws predicts that the variance in density is related to body mass via a power law (variance-mass allometry). Marine size spectra are known to exhibit density-mass allometry, but variance-mass allometry has not been investigated. We show that variance and body mass in unexploited size spectrum models are related by a power law, and that this leads to TL with an exponent slightly <2. These simulated relationships are disrupted less by balanced harvesting, in which fishing effort is spread across a wide range of body sizes, than by size-at-entry fishing, in which only fish above a certain size may legally be caught.