, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 340-344,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Allometric laws and prediction in estuarine and coastal ecology

Abstract

A theoretical and quantitative framework of first principles would benefit estuarine and coastal ecologists in search of predictions to enhance our understanding and management of marine resources. The Metabolic Theory of Ecology describes a possible unifying theory for ecology, including mechanistically derived equations that predict scaling exponents observed in empirical, allometric relationships from individuals to ecosystems. The controversy surrounding this theory should stimulate our exploration of its potential use in the coastal realm, where questions specific to an applied science may suggest new refinements and derivations, contributing to the overall progress of ecology.