Allometric laws and prediction in estuarine and coastal ecology

Lora A. Harris*, Carlos M. Duarte, Scott W. Nixon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-344
Number of pages5
JournalEstuaries and Coasts
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Two anonymous reviewers provided constructive comments that greatly improved the manuscript. L. Harris was partly funded by the Cove Point Foundation and benefited from a travel grant to attend the 2004 Gordon Research Conference on the Metabolic Basis of Ecology, funded by the National Science Foundation. This material is based upon work by L. Harris supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DEB 0213767 and OCE 9726921. This research is a contribution to the MarBEF Network of Excellence, funded by the European Union.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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