© 2005 British
Blackwell Publishing, Ltd.
Linking the global carbon cycle to individual metabolism
A. P. ALLEN,* J. F. GILLOOLY* and J. H. BROWN*¶
*Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, and Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde
Park Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
1. We present a model that yields ecosystem-level predictions of the flux, storage and
turnover of carbon in three important pools (autotrophs, decomposers, labile soil C)
based on the constraints of body size and temperature on individual metabolic rate.
2. The model predicts a 10 000-fold increase in C turnover rates moving from tree- to
phytoplankton-dominated ecosystems due to the size dependence of photosynthetic rates.
3. The model predicts a 16-fold increase in rates controlled by respiration (e.g. decom-
position, turnover of labile soil C and microbial biomass) over the temperature range
030 °C due to the temperature dependence of ATP synthesis in respiratory complexes.