ECOLOGICAL STOICHIOMETRY: SPATIAL-TEMPORAL CONSTRAINTS, TRANSPORT PROCESSES, AND GLOBAL INTEGRATION
The phenomena comprising ecological stoichiometry vary in relative importance in different environmental and ecological situations, however. While a low resolution geography of contemporary, biological contribution to biospheric chemistry can be mapped at the global scale, an assessment of ecological stoichiometry at a more local scale is highly dependent on spatial and temporal time frames of observation as well as the ways that system boundaries are defined. To a considerable extent, the critical importance of spatial-temporal scales is dependent on the strength and timing of transport processes into and out of defined systems. Because of translocation conditions and events, biological control of environmental chemistry may be ephemeral at the local scale, while, through integration of spatial-temporal variation, still be of millennial consequence at the global scale.
This paper addresses what criteria and metrics are necessary for determining the relative importance of geochemical versus biochemical control of environmental geochemistry at different spatial-temporal scales. It explores the roles of different transport mechanisms and the geography of translocation, sequestration, and turnover times.