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Some comments on the size-based structural analysis of the pelagic ecosystem
Jaime Rodríguez

Some ideas on the potential and limitations of the size-structural analysis of pelagic ecosystems are exposed. First of all, the relevance of logistic aspects related to the type of ecosystem in determining the approach (production versus taxonomy) being applied is illustrated. After identifying the use of particle and/or individual size as an organizing variable in ocean modelling, some points that usually provoke some rejection to a size-based approach are discussed. In particular, the emphasis is placed on the analysis of variability rather than on the demonstration of some regularity. Finally, the potential of some techniques like flow cytometry in closing the gap between the individual and the community is stressed. In conclusion, the consideration of size structure and functional composition of pelagic ecosystems appears as a necessary step in developing models of carbon flux in the ocean.

Keywords: Size, spectrum, pelagic, production, taxonomy, functional composition, variability, scales, models, flow cytometry .
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 58(1-2) : 1-10 Back PDF
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