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Ecological Stoichiometry : The Biology of Elements from Molecules to the Biosphere - Robert W. Sterner

Ecological Stoichiometry

The Biology of Elements from Molecules to the Biosphere

Paperback

Published: 17th November 2002
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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."

"Few, if any, details of stoichiometry seem to have been overlooked by Sterner and Elser, and their book will be a useful reference to me for many years to come... The hundreds of references in the bibliography are worth the price of the book alone."--David W. Schindler, Nature "Robert Sterner and James Elser take a giant stride in knitting together perspectives across scales, biomes, and disciplines to craft an integrative and predictive vision of the topic... It knits together such a broad range of relevant topics that anyone interested in the connections between biology and elemental cycles should give it a try."--Anthony F. Michaels, Science "I believe that his is one of the most important books written in ecology in the last 10 years... I predict that in a few years it will be inconceivable to ignore the stoichiometric perspective when tackling an ecological problem... Ecological Stoichiometry is well written in colloquial and friendly prose. The authors strived to explain their arguments clearly and in detail. The many mathematical models are explained with laudable lucidity and the figures that illustrate them are consistently good."--Carlos Martinez Del Rio, Ecology "How often do you read a book that has a large number of 'aha!' moments in every chapter? This is a significant piece of synthesis and scholarship that brings together a very large number of disciplines and disparate chunks of data into a very satisfying whole... Never before have I seen a book which spans the scales from molecular biology to ecosystems so effectively... It is sure to become a classic."--Graham Harris, Journal of Plankton Research "Sterner and Elser adopt a simple, incremental logic in the book and follow it with fidelity... The book is an excellent introduction to ecological stoichiometry for graduate students; and for those already in the field, it is a thorough review of the complexities and nuances of stoichiometric ecology by two of its best practitioners."--Robert E. Hecky, Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin "A fresh and stimulating perspective on this area of ecology. The clear, readable style renders this text highly accessible."--Bulletin of the British Ecological Society "[This] book is seminal and presents a clear, well-reasoned overview of ES, thereby providing the biological community with an essential piece to the puzzle of integrating micro- and macro-level biology."--Van Savage, Complexity

List of Figuresp. ix
List of Tablesp. xiii
Forewordp. xv
Prefacep. xvii
Stoichiometry and Homeostasisp. 1
Scopep. 3
Stoichiometry and Homeostasisp. 8
Yieldp. 25
The Redfield Ratiop. 27
Conventions and Concerns about Element Ratiosp. 31
Some Conventions about Growth Ratep. 34
A Logical Frameworkp. 35
The Structure of This Bookp. 40
Summary and Synthesisp. 41
Key Definitionsp. 42
Biological Chemistry: Building Cells from Elementsp. 44
The Basis for Selection of Carbon, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus in Biochemical Evolutionp. 45
The Elemental Composition of Major Biochemicalsp. 51
Cell Components: The Elemental Composition of Cellular Structuresp. 66
Summary and Synthesisp. 78
The Stoichiometry of Autotroph Growth: Variation at the Base of Food Websp. 80
Cellular and Physiological Basesp. 81
C:N:P Stoichiometry of Entire Higher Plantsp. 87
Autotrophs in Captivityp. 89
Theories of Autotroph Stoichiometryp. 107
Autotrophs in the Wild: Oceans, Lakes, and Landp. 120
Causes of Variation in Autotroph C:N:P in Naturep. 127
Catalysts for Ecological Stoichiometryp. 132
Summary and Synthesisp. 133
How to Build an Animal: The Stoichiometry of Metazoansp. 135
Biochemical and Biological Determinants of Body Elemental Compositionp. 136
Invertebrate Stoichiometry: C:N:P in Zooplankton and Insectsp. 138
Determinants of C:N:P in Invertebrates: The Growth Rate Hypothesisp. 142
Molecular Biology and the C:N:P Stoichiometry of Growth, or Ecosystem Scientists Go Astrayp. 150
A Simple Molecular-Kinetic Model of the Growth Rate-C:N:P Connectionp. 160
Structural Investment and the Stoichiometry of Vertebratesp. 168
Elemental Composition and Body Sizep. 171
Catalysts for Ecological Stoichiometryp. 175
Summary and Synthesisp. 178
Imbalanced Resources and Animal Growthp. 179
Mass Balance in Growth Processesp. 180
Maximizing Yield in Chemistry and in Ecologyp. 185
Limiting Factors for Heterotroph Growth: Development of Threshold Element Ratio Theoryp. 189
A New Minimal Model of the Stoichiometry of Secondary Productionp. 197
Some Real World Problems in Stoichiometric Balancep. 205
Growth Efficiencyp. 222
Catalysts for Ecological Stoichiometryp. 227
Summary and Synthesisp. 229
The Stoichiometry of Consumer-Driven Nutrient Recyclingp. 231
A Brief History of Studies of Consumer-Driven Nutrient Recyclingp. 232
Stoichiometric Theories of Consumer-Driven Nutrient Recyclingp. 235
Evidence That Consumers Differentially Recycle Nitrogen and Phosphorusp. 245
Microbial Mineralizationp. 249
The Stoichiometry of Consumer-Driven Nutrient Recycling by Vertebratesp. 252 Catalyst
Summary and Synthesisp. 260
Stoichiometry in Communities: Dynamics and Interactionsp. 262
Species Interactionsp. 264
Positive Feedbacks and Multiple Stable Statesp. 277
Trophic Cascadesp. 291
Light: Nutrient Effects at the Community Levelp. 298
Feedbacks Owing to the "Constraints of Stuff": C:N Ratios in Tall-Grass Prairiep. 307
Catalysts for Ecological Stoichiometryp. 308
Summary and Synthesisp. 310
Big-Scale Stoichiometry: Ecosystems in Space and Timep. 313
Empirical Patterns in Ecosystem Stoichiometryp. 315
Linkages in the Stoichiometry of Biomass Yield: Using One Substance to Obtain Anotherp. 336
Nutrient Use Efficiency at the Ecosystem Levelp. 341
The Stoichiometry of Food-Chain Production: A New Term, Carbon Use Efficiencyp. 348
The Fate of Primary Productionp. 350
Global Changep. 354
Catalysts for Ecological Stoichiometryp. 364
Summary and Synthesisp. 366
Recapitulation and Integrationp. 370
Recapitulationp. 370
Integration: Toward a Biological Stoichiometry of Living Systemsp. 376 Appendix
Literature Citedp. 385
Indexp. 431
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691074917
ISBN-10: 0691074917
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 464
Published: 17th November 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 16.3  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.71