DUE: 20 November 2006


The objectives of the literature critique are to give you some contact with the primary literature and some experience with critically evaluating limnological studies.  This literature critique will be a summary (in your own words!!!) and evaluation of two papers, one a citation classic that you may hear or have heard about in lecture, and one a recent paper on the same topic.  Choose ONE of the ‘citation classics’ and listed below (linked on the website), and find at least one recent (<5 years old) paper on the same topic.  Read them carefully, and write a report describing: 

1.       The major ideas and hypotheses addressed by the author(s).

2.       The approach taken to answer the question(s).

3.       The conclusion(s) reached.

4.       Your assessment of whether the author(s) have built a convincing case (With explanations of your assessment – for example, did the authors do anything that you would have done differently? Were there any methodological problems?  Did the authors answer their question adequately?  Did they have too much speculation and not enough data?  If everything looks good, what else might have been done or could be done next to improve the study?)

5.       What you think the long-term contribution of the paper to Limnology has been (if any).

6.       Whether ideas in the paper have subsequently been either validated or disproven (or some of each).

7.       Any impressions you have of differences in style or method between this older paper and newer research.

8.       Does this classic citation deserve to be referenced so much?

9.       Has aquatic science made much progress on this topic since the publication of the paper?

10.   What did you learn from the paper (if anything)


Your papers should be clearly written and ~5-10 pages long.  The format is up to you, but you may want to consult Wetzel, your readings, or more papers if you need more background material to evaluate the study.  Copies of each article are on the website (available from campus) – follow the literature review link.  If you would like to choose a different classic aquatic paper for review, please see me.

Due November 20 by 5:00 PM.

Azam, F., T. Fenchel, J.G. Field, J.S. Gray, L.A. Meyer-Reil and F. Thingstad. 1983. The ecological role of water-column microbes in the sea. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 10: 257-263.

Brooks, J.L. and S.I. Dodson. 1965. Predation, body size and composition of plankton. Science 150: 28-35.

Forbes, S.A. 1887. The lake as a microcosm.  Bulletin of the Peoria Scientific Association, pp. 77-87. Reprinted in Bulletin of the Illinois State Natural History Survey 15 (1925): 537-550.

Hutchinson, G.E. 1961. The paradox of the plankton. The American Naturalist 95 (882): 137-145.

Lindeman, R.L. 1942. The trophic-dynamic of ecology. Ecology 23: 399-418.

Redfield, A.C. 1958. The biological control of chemical factors in the environment. American Scientist 46: 205-221.

Schindler, D.W. 1974. Eutrophication and recovery in experimental lakes: Implications for lake management. Science 184: 897-899.
Vannote , R.L., G.W. Minshall, K.W. Cummins, J.R. Sedell, and C.E. Cushing. 1980. The river continuum concept. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 37: 130-137.

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