Allometric scaling of maximum population density: A common rule for marine phytoplankton and terrestrial plants

Andrea Belgrano, Andrew P. Allen, Brian Enquist, James F. Gillooly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A primary goal of macroecology is to identify principles that apply across varied ecosystems and taxonomic groups. Here we show that the allometric relationship observed between maximum abundance and body size for terrestrial plants can be extended to predict maximum population densities of marine phytoplankton. These results imply that the abundance of primary producers is similarly constrained in terrestrial and marine systems by rates of energy supply as dictated by a common allometric scaling law. They also highlight the existence of general mechanisms linking rates of individual metabolism to emergent properties of ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-613
Number of pages3
JournalEcology Letters
Volume5
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2002

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population density
phytoplankton
macroecology
ecosystems
ecosystem
body size
metabolism
ecology
energy
rate
energy supply

Keywords

  • Allometry
  • Energetic equivalence
  • Marine phytoplankton
  • Metabolic scaling theory
  • Population abundance
  • Terrestrial plants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Allometric scaling of maximum population density : A common rule for marine phytoplankton and terrestrial plants. / Belgrano, Andrea; Allen, Andrew P.; Enquist, Brian; Gillooly, James F.

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 5, No. 5, 09.2002, p. 611-613.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Belgrano, Andrea ; Allen, Andrew P. ; Enquist, Brian ; Gillooly, James F. / Allometric scaling of maximum population density : A common rule for marine phytoplankton and terrestrial plants. In: Ecology Letters. 2002 ; Vol. 5, No. 5. pp. 611-613.
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