The elemental composition of organisms is a set of constraints through which all the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles must pass. All organisms consume nutrients and reduced compounds from the environment proportional to their needs. And their needs are determined in turn by the energy required to live and grow, the physical and chemical constraints of their environment, and their needs for relatively large polymeric biomolecules such as RNA, DNA, lipids, and proteins that constitute most of their biomass. Although there may be little variability in stoichiometric ratios of many of these biomolecules, changing the proportions of different biomolecules can have important effects on organismal elemental composition. Furthermore, recent work has demonstrated tremendous variability in organism elemental biomass composition with important implications for Earth’s biogeochemical cycles.
This Research Topic will bring the field of Ecological Stoichiometry up to date. Contributions on the following are welcome: the stoichiometry of all organisms, from microbes to elephants, at sub-cellular, individual, population, community and ecosystem spatial scales and evolutionary time scales. Any habitat, terrestrial, freshwater or marine, is considered relevant to the goal of asking what is the state of Ecological Stoichiometry at the present time. It is important to understand controls on stoichiometry at multiple organizational, spatial and temporal scales. We welcome studies using new tools, whether they utilize novel field, culture, sequencing, theory, and/or modeling approaches to address these questions with the goal of achieving a new synthesis regarding ecological stoichiometry across all types of systems and organization.