Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 340–344

Allometric laws and prediction in estuarine and coastal ecology

  • Lora A. Harris
  • Carlos M. Duarte
  • Scott W. Nixon
Open Access

DOI: 10.1007/BF02782002

Cite this article as:
Harris, L.A., Duarte, C.M. & Nixon, S.W. Estuaries and Coasts: J ERF (2006) 29: 340. doi:10.1007/BF02782002


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.

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Copyright information

© Estuarine Research Federation 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lora A. Harris
    • 1
  • Carlos M. Duarte
    • 2
  • Scott W. Nixon
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of OceanographyUniversity of Rhode IslandNarrangansett
  2. 2.Grup d'Oceanografia InterdisciplinarIMEDEA (CSIC-UIB) Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis AvançatEsporles, Illes BalearsSpain
  3. 3.Marine Biological LaboratoryEcosystems CenterWoods Hole

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