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which is in the form of the enzyme ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase. In other words, because of the
 

Summary: which is in the form of the enzyme ribulose bisphosphate
carboxylase/oxygenase. In other words, because of the
enormous differences between plants and animals in their
elemental ratios, animals live in a world where nitrogen
might be vanishingly scarce even when plant mass is
abundant. This scarcity of a key element underlies many
of the evolutionary and ecological patterns observed in
terrestrial ecosystems.
In seven brief and pleasant chapters, White outlines
his evidence for the above argument and attempts, with
mixed success, to use this insight to reconcile the `weather'
and `density' camps. He argues that weather does have a
role in population dynamics, but that weather affects these
dynamics principally through its influence on food supply.
There are a plethora of implications and applications of
White's argument. On a very local scale, his argument
suggests that, because insects are cueing on nitrogen
rather than biomass, plant defensive tactics should be
geared toward minimizing insect access to nitrogen. Given
the paramount role of nitrogen in plant growth and repro-

  

Source: Altizer, Sonia M.- Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology