Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Body size is perhaps the most fundamental property of an organism and is related to many biological traits, including abundance. The relationship between abundance and body size has received much attention, both to quantify the form of the relationship and to understand the processes that generate it. However, progress is impeded by the underappreciated fact that there are four distinct, but inter-related, relationships between size and abundance that are often confused in the literature. Here, we review and distinguish between these four patterns, and discuss the linkages between them. We argue that a synthetic understanding of size and abundance relationships will result from more detailed analysis of individual patterns and from careful consideration of how and why the patterns are related to one another.
White, E.P., S.K.M. Ernest, A.J. Kerkoff, B.J. Enquist. 2007. Relationships between body size and abundance in ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 22: 323-330.