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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS - Vol. 487 - Feature article
Benthic size spectra can be sampling artefacts of an under- lying continuous distribution defined by a singe body size allometry relationship. Image: B. J. Bett

Bett BJ


Characteristic benthic size spectra: potential sampling artefacts


Marine benthic organisms are classified into size categories — micro-, nano-, meio-, macro- and megafauna. These groups are usually identified in practical terms by the sieve mesh size used to collect them. Bett challenges the widespread perception that macro- and meiofaunal organisms in seafloor sediments form separate size-frequency distributions. He suggests a mechanism by which these ‘characteristic size spectra’ are produced from continuous distributions as a sampling artefact. This may stimulate more integrated assessments of benthic invertebrate communities, with a macroecological modelling approach.


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