Meta-analysis represents a set of statistical methods for quantitative research synthesis developed in medicine and social sciences in late 1970s and introduced to ecology in early 1990s. It provides a more objective and informative alternative to narrative reviews and "vote-counting" approaches traditionally used for research synthesis in ecology.

 

 

Despite its great potential in addressing both basic and applied research questions, the progress of meta-analytic applications in ecology is still hindered by

  • limited availability of meta-analytic training for ecology students
  • limited palette of meta-analytic techniques and tools available in ecology compared to that available in medicine and social sciences
  • the need to adjust these techniques to account for the structure of ecological data and the nature of ecological questions

 

 

The aims of our working group are to facilitate and to promote the thoughtful and critical use of meta-analysis for research synthesis in ecology, and to improve the power and rigour of ecological meta-analysis.

 

 

These aims will be achieved by

  • writing a handbook of meta-analysis for ecologists
  • updating existing statistical software for ecological meta-analysis
  • creating an online forum on ecological meta-analysis containing bibliography and teaching aids
  • taking advantage of recent methodological developments in quantitative research synthesis in medicine and social sciences
  • adjusting standard meta-analytical procedures to address specific ecological issues and problems