Extracting order from elegant chaos: implications of the marine diversity spectrum
Article first published online: 16 JUN 2014
© 2014 The Author. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 83, Issue 4, pages 741–743, July 2014
How to Cite
Webb, T. J. (2014), Extracting order from elegant chaos: implications of the marine diversity spectrum. Journal of Animal Ecology, 83: 741–743. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12242
- Issue published online: 16 JUN 2014
- Article first published online: 16 JUN 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 APR 2014
- Manuscript Received: 11 APR 2014
In Focus: , , , & (2014) The marine diversity spectrum. Journal of Animal Ecology, 83, 963–979.
How do we begin to extract order from the elegant chaos of natural ecosystems? In a landmark new paper published in this issue, Reuman et al. (2014) go back to first principles, combining a range of established body size- and species-centred ecological theories with empirically well-supported relationships to construct a model that enables them to predict key features using only remarkably simple biological and environmental measurements. They test this model using widely available data on the communities living in all of the world's coastal seas. Here, I discuss the key features of their model, and especially how the general patterns they document can lead to further, empirically driven tests of theory across multiple ecosystems.