Ecological stoichiometry: An elementary approach using basic principles

Dag O. Hessen, James Elser, Robert W. Sterner, Jotaro Urabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

117 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Based on the observation that organism-specific elemental content creates ecologically relevant mismatches such as between plant and animal tissue, it was postulated-and experimentally verified-that this would profoundly affect trophic efficiency and nutrient fluxes in ecosystems. From its beginnings as a Daphnia-centered perspective, the field of ecological stoichiometry (ES) has widened to include many organism groups, and ecosystem types, and the questions it addresses have broadened. We address some of the development of ES in aquatic sciences especially over the past 10 yr, focusing on homeostasis and mass balance in the consumer, and its effect on trophic efficiency and nutrient recycling in aquatic communities. We also discuss how ES has provided novel insights into genomic, proteomic, and cellular responses at one end of the biological scale as well as into large-scale effects related to biogeochemical couplings at the ecosystem level. The coupling of global C, N, and P cycles via their biotic interactions and their responses to climate change accentuate ES as an important toolkit for ecosystem analysis. We also point to some of the major topics and principles where ES has provided new insights. For each of these topics we also point to some novel directions where the ES concepts likely will be useful in understanding and predicting biological responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2219-2236
Number of pages18
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Volume58
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Fingerprint

stoichiometry
ecosystems
aquatic communities
aquatic community
proteomics
nutrient
ecosystem
animal tissues
scale effect
organisms
nutrients
homeostasis
Daphnia
recycling
plant tissues
mass balance
genomics
climate change
animal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Ecological stoichiometry : An elementary approach using basic principles. / Hessen, Dag O.; Elser, James; Sterner, Robert W.; Urabe, Jotaro.

In: Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 58, No. 6, 2013, p. 2219-2236.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hessen, Dag O. ; Elser, James ; Sterner, Robert W. ; Urabe, Jotaro. / Ecological stoichiometry : An elementary approach using basic principles. In: Limnology and Oceanography. 2013 ; Vol. 58, No. 6. pp. 2219-2236.
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