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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 505:299-302 (2014)  -  DOI:

Macroecology and meiobenthos: Reply to Warwick (2014)

Brian J. Bett*

National Oceanography Centre, Empress Dock, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Warwick (2014; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 505:295-298) suggests that my claim that the biology of marine metazoan benthos may scale continuously with body mass (Bett 2013; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 487:1-6) is an overstatement. His alternative hypothesis is that there is a ‘step-change’ in allometric relationships between the meio- and macrobenthos. I continue to propose that simple null hypotheses for standing stock size spectra and species size spectra of the metazoan benthos, consistent with metabolic theory and macroecology, offer parsimonious solutions. For standing stock and species size spectra I present field data that conform to these null hypotheses. Data from other studies, such as those suggested by Warwick (2014), may be difficult to place in the macroecological context, as those studies are constructed or presented in a different manner (e.g. they lack data on the number of individuals identified). I suggest that it may be useful to consider ‘evolutionary species size spectra’ separately from ‘macroecological species size spectra’. Both are valid testable hypotheses, and are not necessarily contradictory.

KEY WORDS: Meiobenthos · Macrobenthos · Metabolic theory · Macroecology · Metazoan evolution · Body size spectra

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Cite this article as: Bett BJ (2014) Macroecology and meiobenthos: Reply to Warwick (2014). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 505:299-302.

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