A multisided analysis of living matter in an aquatic ecosystem

Yury Kamenir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Practical ecology often focuses attention on species identities. Such an approach becomes very complicated when natural ecosystems encompassing dozens or hundreds of species are studied. The trait-based approaches try to overcome this obstacle by concentrating on the formal, quantitative properties of living organisms. An alternative to taxonomy-based schemes is the living-matter concept, which considers the whole assemblage of co-occurring living cells. Size spectra and allometry provide highly efficient general means of quantitative analysis for living-matter structure and functioning, while the study of practically important species and species groups leads to the loss of ecological generality. The combination of two major branches of science (trait-based and taxonomic approaches) can accelerate progress towards an operational predictive science. Using long-term monitoring of Lake Kinneret phytoplankton, a more comprehensive analysis of community change was achieved through comparison of results based on organism abundance and taxonomic size spectra. Comparison of several taxonomic units, as seen from two different points of view, corroborates the identification of general patterns of community structure and dynamics. Such pattern generalization can support the progress of predictive ecology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHorizons in Earth Science Research
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781634825818
ISBN (Print)9781634825504
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Aquatic community structure
  • Living matter
  • Phytoplankton
  • Size spectra
  • Species abundance distribution
  • Taxonomic structure


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