Alison Appling's paper on the theory of fine-scale nutrient dynamics is now available online at American Naturalist. The goal of the paper is to provide biological theory for the interpretation of passively-observed patterns such as diel variation and experimental manipulations such as pulsed nutrient additions. To do so, Alison developed a physiological model of nutrient uptake and growth, based on existing models that have been used to understand competition and productivity in aquatic ecosystems. The major findings are that 1) the presence of diel variation is a potential indicator of nutrient limitation status (with diel variation in a solute indicating that the varying nutrient is not limiting), 2) the shape of diel curves (or pulse responses) can vary strongly depending on physiological characteristics of biota, and 3) that differential lags among nutrients can de-couple them over diel or experimental time scales. We think this paper will inform the growing number of studies that use in situ nutrient sensors to characterize these fine-scale patterns.
This is the homepage of the Heffernan Lab at Duke University. Here you can find all sorts of information about our research, teaching, and outreach. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Heffernan.
Dr. Jim Heffernan
I am an Assistant Professor in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. My research is focused on the causes and consequences of major changes in ecosystem structure, mostly in streams and wetlands.
|The Heffernan Lab at Duke University||