Articles | Volume 15, issue 19
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-5929-2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-5929-2018
Reviews and syntheses
 | Highlight paper
 | 
09 Oct 2018
Reviews and syntheses | Highlight paper |  | 09 Oct 2018

Reviews and syntheses: Carbon use efficiency from organisms to ecosystems – definitions, theories, and empirical evidence

Stefano Manzoni, Petr Čapek, Philipp Porada, Martin Thurner, Mattias Winterdahl, Christian Beer, Volker Brüchert, Jan Frouz, Anke M. Herrmann, Björn D. Lindahl, Steve W. Lyon, Hana Šantrůčková, Giulia Vico, and Danielle Way

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Cited articles

Alin, S. R. and Johnson, T. C.: Carbon cycling in large lakes of the world: A synthesis of production, burial, and lake-atmosphere exchange estimates, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 21, GB3002, https://doi.org/10.1029/2006gb002881, 2007. 
Allison, S. D.: Modeling adaptation of carbon use efficiency in microbial communities, Front. Microbiol., 5, 1–9, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2014.00571, 2014. 
Allison, S. D., Wallenstein, M. D., and Bradford, M. A.: Soil-carbon response to warming dependent on microbial physiology, Nat. Geosci., 3, 336–340, 2010. 
Anderson, T. R., Hessen, D. O., Elser, J. J., and Urabe, J.: Metabolic stoichiometry and the fate of excess carbon and nutrients in consumers, Am. Nat., 165, 1–15, 2005. 
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Short summary
Carbon fixed by plants and phytoplankton through photosynthesis is ultimately stored in soils and sediments or released to the atmosphere during decomposition of dead biomass. Carbon-use efficiency is a useful metric to quantify the fate of carbon – higher efficiency means higher storage and lower release to the atmosphere. Here we summarize many definitions of carbon-use efficiency and study how this metric changes from organisms to ecosystems and from terrestrial to aquatic environments.
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