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An operational framework for the advancement of a molecule-to-biosphere stoichiometry theory
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (EcoChange)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0107-9374
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Poslar- und Meeresforschung, Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, Helgoland, Germany.
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2017 (English)In: Frontiers in Marine Science, E-ISSN 2296-7745, Vol. 4, article id 286Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Biological stoichiometry is an approach that focuses on the balance of elements in biological interactions. It is a theory that has the potential to causally link material processes at all biological levels—from molecules to the biosphere. But the lack of a coherent operational framework has so far restricted progress in this direction. Here, we provide a framework to help infer how a stoichiometric imbalance observed at one level impacts all other biological levels. Our framework enables us to highlight the areas of the theory in need of completion, development and integration at all biological levels. Our hope is that this framework will contribute to the building of a more predictive theory of elemental transfers within the biosphere, and thus, to a better understanding of human-induced perturbations to the global biogeochemical cycles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lausanne: Frontiers Media S.A., 2017. Vol. 4, article id 286
Keywords [en]
biological organization, biological stoichiometry, consumer-driven nutrient recycling, ecological theory, theory integration, growth-rate hypothesis, light:nutrient hypothesis
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-139395DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00286Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85029215410OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-139395DiVA, id: diva2:1141515
Available from: 2017-09-15 Created: 2017-09-15 Last updated: 2023-03-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Consequences of consumer-resource stoichiometric imbalance in planktonic food webs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consequences of consumer-resource stoichiometric imbalance in planktonic food webs
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Resource imbalance between consumers and their resources can come from inadequate resource quantity or quality. The ecological stoichiometry theory focuses on understanding the consequences of imbalance in elemental composition.  In this thesis, I have used both resource quality (e.g., inorganic vs organic forms of nutrients) and resource quantity (e.g., terrestrial and freshwater nutrient loading to natural coastal systems) to address the consequences of consumer-resource imbalance in planktonic food webs. First, I provided a framework that summarizes how the stoichiometric imbalance is transferred from one biological level to another. The framework highlights the importance of the distribution of elements among different chemical forms and the distribution of elements among connected ecosystems. The framework then served as a guideline for the empirical work of my thesis.  Second, I studied the response of bacterial community mineralization to the relative availability of different forms of nitrogen (inorganic vs. organic form) in a batch culture experiment. The study shows that different forms of nitrogen can significantly influence the growth of bacteria. More importantly, my results show that it is crucial to measure the actual bacterial carbon to nitrogen consumption ratio, rather than use classical theoretical models, to be able to make an accurate prediction of bacterial ammonium regeneration. Third, I tested the effect of different forms of nitrogen on microplankton food web dynamics in a microcosm experiment. I found that differences between nitrogen forms have a strong impact on food web dynamics that is channeled by the bacteria-phytoplankton interaction at the base of the food web. The whole microplankton food web benefits from organic forms of nitrogen as a result of increased mutualistic interactions between bacteria and phytoplankton. Hence, the form of nitrogen is an important factor to be considered in microplanktonic food web dynamics, at least on the short-term. In the final part of this thesis, I explored resource quality and quantity effects on the stoichiometric response of a natural coastal ecosystem in a field study. I expected that the relative availability of inorganic or organic forms of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in our sampling bays may affect organismal elemental composition both temporally and spatially. The results indicate that the stoichiometry among seston size fractions and zooplankton varied more through time than in space. However, zooplankton stoichiometry was relatively stable among species within specific months. Overall, the concentration of dissolved organic carbon and dissolved organic nitrogen in the water column were the major explanatory variables for the seston stoichiometry. In summary, this thesis uses multiple systems to elucidate how the form and input of nutrients shape the plankton food web dynamics and its stoichiometric responses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2020. p. 36
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
environmental science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-167427 (URN)978-91-7855-182-8 (ISBN)978-91-7855-183-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-02-28, Lilla Hörsalen, KBC, Umeå, 14:12 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-02-07 Created: 2020-02-03 Last updated: 2020-03-02Bibliographically approved

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Cherif, MehdiFaithfull, CarolynGuo, JunwenUszko, WojciechRivera Vasconcelos, Francisco

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