NCEAS Project 2240

Meta-analysis, interaction strength and effect size: Application of biological models to the synthesis of experimental data

  • Craig W. Osenberg


ActivityDatesFurther Information
Postdoctoral Fellow1st May 1996—31st March 1997Participant List  
Working Group24th—28th July 1996Participant List  
Graduate Student3rd—19th November 1996Participant List  
Working Group9th—12th January 1997Participant List  
Meeting17th—21st April 1997Participant List  
Working Group15th—19th May 1997Participant List  
Working Group14th—16th May 1998Participant List  

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Abstract
Meta-analysis holds considerable promise as a rigorous, quantitative approach to the synthesis of experimental results; however, its future application and success will depend on our ability to extract suitable metrics of effect size from a broad pool of experimental studies. An appropriate metric should be interpretable in the context of the ecological theory that motivated the studies and be statistically tractable (although the latter is of secondary importance). Accomplishing these goals is a difficult task and, at a minimum, requires clarification of the meaning of "effect size" or "interaction strength", and elucidation of the links among ecological theory, mathematical models, experimental design, and the extraction of appropriate metrics from experimental data. Here we propose a series of workshops aimed at defining the future of meta-analysis in ecology, which rests on our ability to define quantitative and conceptually relevant definitions of "effect size" and apply these metrics to experimental studies conducted by different investigators, in different times, and in different places.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Curtis, Peter; Wang, Xianshong. 1998. A meta-analysis of elevated CO2 effects on woody plant mass, form, and physiology. Oecologia. Vol: 113(3). Pages 299-313.
Journal Article Downing, John A.; Osenberg, Craig W.; Sarnelle, Orlando. 1999. Meta-analysis of marine nutrient-enrichment experiments: Variation in the magnitude of nutrient limitation. Ecology. Vol: 80. Pages 1157-1167.
Journal Article Englund, Goran; Sarnelle, Orlando; Cooper, Scott D. 1999. The importance of data-selection criteria: Meta-analyses of stream predation experiments. Ecology. Vol: 80. Pages 1132-1141.
Presentations Goldberg, Deborah E. 1999. Competition along productivity gradients. University of California, Davis. Davis, CA.
Journal Article Goldberg, Deborah E.; Rajaniemi, Tara; Gurevitch, Jessica; Stewart-Oaten, Allan. 1999. Empirical approaches to quantifying interaction intensity: Competition and facilitation along productivity gradients. Ecology. Vol: 80. Pages 1118-1131.
Presentations Goldberg, Deborah E. 1999. Using meta-analysis to synthesize experimental results: Competition along productivity gradients. Department of Biology, University of Michigan. Michigan.
Journal Article Gurevitch, Jessica; Hedges, Larry. 1999. Statistical issues in ecological meta-analyses. Ecology. Vol: 80. Pages 1142-1149.
Journal Article Hedges, Larry; Gurevitch, Jessica; Curtis, Peter. 1999. The meta-analysis of response ratios in experimental ecology. Ecology. Vol: 80. Pages 1150-1156.
Journal Article Osenberg, Craig W.; Sarnelle, Orlando; Cooper, Scott D. 1997. Effect size in ecological experiments: The application of biological models to meta-analysis. American Naturalist. Vol: 150(6). Pages 798-812.
Report or White Paper Osenberg, Craig W. 1997. Meta-analysis, interaction strength and effect size: Application of biological models to the synthesis of experimental data - Workshop III. (Online version)
Journal Article Osenberg, Craig W.; St. Mary, Colette. 1998. Meta-analysis: Synthesis or statistical subjugation?. Integrative Biology-Issues, News and Reviews. Vol: 1. Pages 37-41.
Journal Article Osenberg, Craig W.; Sarnelle, Orlando; Goldberg, Deborah E. 1999. Meta-analysis in ecology: Concepts, statistics, and applications. Ecology. Vol: 80. Pages 1103-1104.
Journal Article Osenberg, Craig W.; Sarnelle, Orlando; Cooper, Scott D.; Holt, Robert D. 1999. Resolving ecological questions through meta-analysis: Goals, metrics, and models. Ecology. Vol: 80. Pages 1105-1117.
Presentations Osenberg, Craig W. 1999. Species interactions and plant biodiversity in deserts. Biodiversity in Drylands. Beer Sheva, Israel.
Data Set Osenberg, Craig W.; Sarnelle, Orlando; Cooper, Scott D.; Holt, Robert D. 2005. Resolving ecological questions through meta-analysis: Goals, metrics, and models. (Online version)
Report or White Paper Sarnelle, Orlando. 1998. Report of NCEAS post-doctoral fellow Orlando Sarnelle. (Online version)