Stoichiometry integrates readily into mechanistic approaches to species interactions that have become popular among ecologists in recent decades. Mechanisms of interaction often involve consumption and transformation of materials, processes that must follow mass-conservation laws. As anticipated by Lotka, mass conservation often constrains dynamics and simplifies analysis in theoretical ecology. Beyond convenience, stoichiometry provides insights into how the physiology and metabolism of consumption and transformation scale up to population and community levels. Ultimately, stoichiometry helps ecologists to understand better the range of mechanisms contributing to population persistence and community diversity.
See also: Coexistence; Commensalisms; Competition and Coexistence in Model Populations; Competition and Competition Models; Ecological Stoichiomety: Overview; Ecosystem Patterns and Processes; Evolutionary and Biochemical Aspects; Microbial Ecology; Microbial Models; Organismal Ecophysiology; Pelagic Predators; Plant Competition; Prey-Predator Models; Trace Elements.
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