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Fish Ecology, Evolution, and ExploitationA New Theoretical Synthesis$
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Ken H. Andersen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691192956

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691192956.001.0001

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Size Spectrum Theory

Size Spectrum Theory

(p.15) Chapter Two Size Spectrum Theory
Fish Ecology, Evolution, and Exploitation

Ken H. Andersen

Princeton University Press

This chapter follows the size-structure of the entire marine ecosystem. It shows how the Sheldon spectrum emerges from predator–prey interactions and the limitations that physics and physiology place on individual organisms. How predator–prey interactions and physiological limitations scale with body size are the central assumptions in size spectrum theory. To that end, this chapter first defines body size and size spectrum. Next, it shows how central aspects of individual physiology scale with size: metabolism, clearance rate, and prey size preference. On that basis, it is possible to derive a power-law representation of the size spectrum by considering a balance between the needs of an organism (its metabolism) and the encountered prey, which is determined by the spectrum, the clearance rate, and the size preference. Lastly, the chapter uses the solution of the size spectrum to derive the expected size scaling of predation mortality.

Keywords:   marine ecosystem, size spectrum theory, predator–prey interactions, physiological limitations, body size, size spectrum, predation mortality

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