Ecological Stoichiometry: The Biology of Elements from Molecules to the Biosphere

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Princeton University Press, 2002 - Science - 439 pages
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All life is chemical. That fact underpins the developing field of ecological stoichiometry, the study of the balance of chemical elements in ecological interactions. This long-awaited book brings this field into its own as a unifying force in ecology and evolution. Synthesizing a wide range of knowledge, Robert Sterner and Jim Elser show how an understanding of the biochemical deployment of elements in organisms from microbes to metazoa provides the key to making sense of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.


After summarizing the chemistry of elements and their relative abundance in Earth's environment, the authors proceed along a line of increasing complexity and scale from molecules to cells, individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems. The book examines fundamental chemical constraints on ecological phenomena such as competition, herbivory, symbiosis, energy flow in food webs, and organic matter sequestration. In accessible prose and with clear mathematical models, the authors show how ecological stoichiometry can illuminate diverse fields of study, from metabolism to global change.


Set to be a classic in the field, Ecological Stoichiometry is an indispensable resource for researchers, instructors, and students of ecology, evolution, physiology, and biogeochemistry.



From the foreword by Peter Vitousek:



"[T]his book represents a significant milestone in the history of ecology. . . . Love it or argue with it--and I do both--most ecologists will be influenced by the framework developed in this book. . . . There are points to question here, and many more to test . . . And if we are both lucky and good, this questioning and testing will advance our field beyond the level achieved in this book. I can't wait to get on with it."



  

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Contents

Stoichiometry and Homeostasis
1
II
6
III
23
Yield
25
IV
29
V
32
VI
33
VII
38
XXX
195
XXXI
203
XXXII
220
XXXIII
225
Catalysts for Ecological Stoichiometry
227
Summary and Synthesis
229
XXXIV
230
XXXV
233

VIII
39
The Structure of This Book
40
Key Definitions
42
IX
43
X
49
XI
64
XII
76
Summary and Synthesis
78
XIII
79
XIV
85
NP Stoichiometry of Entire Higher Plants
87
XV
105
XVI
118
XVII
130
XVIII
131
Summary and Synthesis
133
XIX
134
Biochemical and Biological Determinants of Body Elemental Composition
136
XX
140
XXI
148
XXII
158
XXIII
166
XXIV
169
XXV
173
XXVI
176
XXVII
177
Summary and Synthesis
178
XXVIII
183
XXIX
187
XXXVI
243
XXXVII
247
XXXVIII
250
XXXIX
257
XL
258
Summary and Synthesis
260
Stoichiometry in Communities Dynamics and Interactions
262
XLI
275
XLII
289
XLIII
296
XLIV
305
XLV
306
Catalysts for Ecological Stoichiometry
308
XLVI
311
BigScale Stoichiometry Ecosystems in Space and Time
313
XLVII
334
XLVIII
339
XLIX
346
A New Term Carbon Use Efficiency
348
L
352
LI
362
Catalysts for Ecological Stoichiometry
364
LII
368
LIV
374
LV
380
LVI
383
LVII
429
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