Tracing Carbon Fluxes: Resolving Complexity Using Isotopes

  • H. SchnyderEmail author
  • U. Ostler
  • C. Lehmeier
  • M. Wild
  • A. Morvan-Bertrand
  • R. Schäufele
  • F. A. Lattanzi
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 220)


Cells, organisms and ecosystems are interconnected and interdependent metabolic networks, which are operated by carbon substrate fluxes. Isotope methodologies are useful tools for tracing these fluxes. A large diversity of tracer approaches is available for such investigations, ranging from uses of position-labelled 13C substrates in steady-state systems to tracing of natural alterations of isotopic signals in natural conditions. We discuss general principles of different carbon isotope tracer methodologies and specifics of their use in studies of processes at various time frames and scales of biological complexity. Furthermore, we show how “compartmental modelling” can help to characterise the structure and kinetic features of metabolic systems.


Metabolic Network Compartmental Modelling Metabolic Flux Analysis Compartmental Analysis Tracer Kinetic 
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-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Schnyder
    • 1
    Email author
  • U. Ostler
    • 1
  • C. Lehmeier
    • 1
  • M. Wild
    • 1
  • A. Morvan-Bertrand
    • 2
  • R. Schäufele
    • 1
  • F. A. Lattanzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für GrünlandlehreTechnische Universität MünchenFreisingGermany
  2. 2.UMR INRA-UCBN 950 EVA Ecophysiologie Végétale, Agronomie and Nutritions NCSUniversité de Caen Basse-NormandieCaen CedexFrance

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