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Carbon:phosphorus stoichiometry and food chain production.

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Lampert,  W.
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Weisse,  T.
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Sterner, R. W., Clasen, J., Lampert, W., & Weisse, T. (1998). Carbon:phosphorus stoichiometry and food chain production. Ecology Letters, 1(3), 146-150.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-E13A-2
Abstract
ncident light was manipulated in large plankton towers containing algae, microbes, and herbivores. Paradoxically, food chain production was lower with greater light energy input. This apparent paradox is resolved by recognizing stoichiometric constraints to food chain production. At high light, elevated algal biomass was achieved mainly by increases in cellular carbon. Consumers have a high phosphorus demand for growth, and thus a large excess of carbon inhibited, rather than stimulated, their growth. These experiments may help us predict the consequences of anthropogenic perturbations in nutrients, carbon, and solar energy. They also may help us to understand the wide range of consumer biomass and production at a given level of primary productivity in ecosystems.