There are no whole truths in meta-analyses: all their truths are half truths

Lyons, D, Arvanitidis, C, Blight, AJ, Chatzinikolaou, E, Guy-Haim, T, Kotta, J, Queiros, AM, Rilov, G, Somerfield, PJ and Crowe, TP 2016 There are no whole truths in meta-analyses: all their truths are half truths. Global Change Biology, 22 (3). 968-971.

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In a recent letter, Thomsen & Wernberg (2015) rean-alyzed data compiled for our recent paper (Lyonset al., 2014). In that paper, we examined the effectsof macroalgal blooms and macroalgal mats on sevenimportant measures of community structure and eco-system functioning and explored several ecologicaland methodological factors that might explain someof the variation in the observed effects. Thomsen &Wernberg (2015) re-analyzed two small subsets of the data, focusing on experimental studies examining effects of blooms/mats on invertebrate abundance.Their analyses revealed two interesting patterns.First, they showed that macroalgal blooms reducedthe abundance of communities that Thomsen andWernberg categorized as ‘mainly infauna’, whileincreasing the abundance of communities categorized as ‘mainly epifauna’. Second, they showed that theimpacts of macroalgal blooms on ‘mainly infauna’communities increased with algal density in experiments that included multiple levels of algal density.These findings, as well as the conclusions that Thomsen & Wernberg (2015) draw from them, are largely consistent with our own expectations and interpretations. However, we also feel that some caution is required when interpreting the results of their analyses.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Biology
Data and Information
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Ecology and Biodiversity
Depositing User: Dr Ana Queiros
Date made live: 20 Aug 2015 09:41
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 09:56

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