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Trends Ecol Evol. 1995 Jun;10(6):236-40. doi: 10.1016/S0169-5347(00)89073-4.

Meta-analysis: synthesizing research findings in ecology and evolution.

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Göran Arnqvist is at the Dept of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-1091, USA; Dept of Animal Ecology, University of Umeå, S-90187 Umeå, Sweden.


The growing number of empirical studies performed in ecology and evolution creates a need for quantitative summaries of research domains to generate higher-order conclusions about general trends and patterns. Recent developments In meta-analysis (the area of statistics that is designed for summarizing and analyzing multiple independent studies) have opened up new and exciting possibilities. Unlike more traditional qualitative and narrative reviews, meta-analysis allows powerful quantitative analyses of the magnitude of effects and has a high degree of objectivity because it is based on a standardized set of statistical procedures. The first pioneering applications in ecology and evolution demonstrate that meta-analysis is both tractable and powerful.

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