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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Variables

Variable TypeOrdinal
Variable Component TypePollutant, Natural Resource Unit
Variable KindComponent
ThemeBiophysical (learn about themes)
ProjectsSESMAD, Fiji fisheries
QuestionWhat is the size of this commons?
Select Options1 Microscopic, 2 Small, 3 Medium, 4 Large
ImportanceThe visibility of natural resources aids management by providing visible insights concerning the status of a stock, and the potential effects of new patterns of use or other disturbances. Also, the scale of a resource or pollutant unit has implications for sustainability due to the technological and biological differences. Larger natural resource units also tend to have lower reproductive rates.

The physical dimensions of a resource or pollutant unit at its maximum extent.

Microscopic: invisible to the naked eye (e.g. most pollutants)

Small: Visible, but much smaller than an average person (e.g. a mollusk, small rodent)

Medium: Slightly small than an average person (turtles, large predatory birds)

Large: Somewhat larger to much larger than an average person (e.g. sharks, whales, elephants, most trees)


Theory Usages

TheoryValue Used

Associated Studies

Study Citation

Ostrom, Elinor. 2007. “A Diagnostic Approach for Going beyond Panaceas.” PNAS 104, no. 39: 15181–15187.

Component Usages

ComponentValue UsedExplanation
Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Medium (3)Adult bluefin tuna weigh up to 900 kg, although the average adult weighs in at around 250kg and is 2.5m in length.
Galapagos Sea CucumberSmall (2)Adults 20-30cm, with suggested lifespan of 12-17 years.
Eastern Atlantic Bluefin TunaMedium (3)Eastern Atlantic Bluefin can weigh up to 900 kg, although mature adults typically weigh 250kg with a length of approximately 2.5m.
OzoneMicroscopic (1)Ozone is effectively invisible.
Ozone Depleting SubstancesMicroscopic (1)
Rhine Point source pollutantsMicroscopic (1)
Rhine Non-point source pollutantsMicroscopic (1)
GBR target fish 
GBR target fishSmall (2)0.1m
Patagonian Toothfish Medium (3)Toothfish can reach a weights greater than 200 kg and lengths over 2.3 meters (see e.g., Collins et al. 2010). The size of captured fish are, however, somewhat smaller and are generally gear-dependent. Trawl fishers tend to capture younger smaller fish (around 1 meter in length); while longline operators capture older larger fish (< one meter in length).
NWHI Lobster FisherySmall (2)
Macquarie Island Royal PenguinSmall (2)
Light Mantled AlbatrossSmall (2)Wingspan can be over 2 meters; and they typically weigh between 2.5 and 4 kilograms.
Wakatobi coral coverLarge (4)The reefs as a whole are large (not the coral polyps themselves)
Wakatobi Green TurtleMedium (3)Average weight of adult individual 68-190Kg
Wakatobi fish spawningSmall (2)Lutjanus bohar - common length = 76cm Epinephelus fuscoguttatus - common length = 50cm Plectropomus areolatus - max length 80cm (data from FishBase)
Galapagos Green TurtleMedium (3)Av weight of adult individual 68-190Kg
Raja Ampat Reef Fish Small (2)On average reef fish are comparatively small
Raja Ampat Coral CoverLarge (4)The reefs as a whole are large (not the coral polyps themselves)
Galapagos SharksLarge (4)
Raja Ampat Green TurtleMedium (3)Average weight of adult individual 68-190Kg
NWHI Green TurtleMedium (3)Average weight of adult individual 68-190Kg
California Humpback WhaleLarge (4)Fully grown, the males average 13–14 meters (43–46 feet) long. Females are slightly 1 to 1.5 m longer than males (Chittleborough 1965). Body mass is typically between 25–30 metric tons (28–33 short tons), with larger whales weighing more than 40 metric tons (Burnie and Wilson 2005).
Community D Fish ResourcesSmall (2)
Community A Fish ResourcesSmall (2)
Community C Fish ResourcesSmall (2)
Community B Fish ResourcesSmall (2)
Svalbard Polar BearLarge (4)Adult polar bears are typically 400-700kg and 2-3m long.
Seaflower coral reefsLarge (4)Individual coral colonies can be 4 meters high/wide.
Seaflower groupersMedium (3)Individual groupers can grow to 1-2 meters.
Svalbard BelugaLarge (4)Belugas are 4-6m long and in the range of 1100-1500kg.
Community G Fish ResourcesSmall (2)
Community E Fish ResourcesSmall (2)
Community F Fish ResourcesSmall (2)
Community H Fish ResourcesSmall (2)
Svalbard ShrimpSmall (2)
GABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Southern Right WhaleLarge (4)Southern right whales can reach a maximum length of 17.5 meters and weigh up to 80 tonnes. Females are generally 1 - 2 meters larger than males.
GABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Southern Bluefin TunaMedium (3)SBT can reach 2.25m fork length and weigh >200 kg, although they more commonly reach 1.80m fork length and 100kg (Yearsely et al. 1999; BRS 2008).
King PenguinMedium (3)The king penguin is the second largest species of penguins, growing up to about three feet in height and 35 lbs in weight (Bost et al. 2013).
GBR Green TurtleMedium (3)On average, adult Green Turtles are generally in the range of 105cm long, and often weigh around 130 kg.
Cenderwasih green turtleMedium (3)Average weight of adult individual 68-190Kg
GABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Sea LionMedium (3)Males can become very large, 185–225 cm in length and weighing 180–250 kg. Females are smaller, 130–185 cm at in length and weighing 65–100 kg.
Svalbard KittiwakeSmall (2)The adult is 37–41 cm in length with a wingspan of 91–105 cm and a body mass of 305–525g
Cenderwasih target fishSmall (2)On average reef fish are comparatively small
Patagonian squid (Loligo gahi)Small (2)Max. mantle length is 13-17 cm (Arkhipkin et al. 2013a)
California market squid (Loligo opalescens)Small (2)Average mantle length is 152 mm at the time of spawning.
New Zealand Sea Lion 
Arrow Squid (Nototodarus spp.)Small (2)Max 42 cm mantle length and 1400 g (Smith et al. 1987)