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Carbon/nitrogen/phosphorus allometric relations across species

  • Karl J. Niklas
Part of the Plant Ecophysiology book series (KLEC, volume 7)

This chapter reviews some of the ecological and evolutionary implications of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) stoichiometry and the allometric relationships among these elements reported for terrestrial plant species because the patterns of C mass allocation and N:P-stoichiometry for different plant organ-types are of general interest to understanding a broad range of ecological and evolutionary phenomena (Aerts and Chapin 2000; Bazzaz and Grace 1997; Chapin et al. 1986; Grime 1979; Niklas and Enquist 2001, 2002; Westoby et al. 2002; Wright et al. 2004; Niklas et al. 2005, 2007; Kerkhoff et al. 2006). Much of the functional-trait variation observed among species differing in overall size can be attributed to differences in the amount of C, N or P allocated to the construction of leaves, stems, roots, and reproductive structures as well as to differences in overall body size (Grime 1979; Field and Mooney 1986; Tilman 1988; Bazzaz and Grace 1997; Jackson et al. 1997; Milberg and Lamont 1997; Weiher et al. 1999; Niklas and Enquist 2001, 2002; Enquist and Niklas 2002; Westoby et al. 2002; Wright et al. 2004; Niklas et al. 2005, 2007; Kerkhoff et al. 2006). Likewise, the P and N concentrations in plant tissues critically influence the material and energy cycles of whole ecosystems (Chapin et al. 1997; De Angelis 1980; Kerkhoff et al. 2005; Koerselman and Meuleman 1996; Silver 1994; Sterner and Elser 2002; Vitousek 1982; Vogt et al. 1986; Ågren and Bosatta 1996) and phylogenetic functional trait differences in the ability to acquire and use N or P are temperature-dependent, such that climatic shifts of sufficient magnitude (e.g., along latitudinal or altitudinal gradients) can have major affects on the C economy of terrestrial vegetation (Kerkhoff et al. 2005; Wright et al. 2005; Westoby and Wright 2006).

Keywords

Ordinary Little Square Relative Growth Rate Total Leaf Unicellular Alga Total Body Mass 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl J. Niklas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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