NCEAS Project 11961

Food quality effects on ecological efficiency at multiple scales in aquatic systems

  • Kimberly L. Schulz

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Sabbatical Fellow1st August 2007—31st July 2008Participant List  

Abstract
I am interested in how the biochemical composition of food ('food quality') affects the performance and fitness of consumers, and how these nutritional effects on individuals translate to higher ecological levels such as population dynamics, community composition, and trophic transfer efficiency. Often, work on different aspects of food quality (e.g., nutrient content -- 'stoichiometry', essential fatty acid composition, protein content) has been done in disparate disciplines (e.g., limnology and aquaculture). I propose a sabbatical leave at NCEAS to (1) compile and synthesize data on the effects of several food quality parameters on different consumers in aquatic systems, and then to (2) compare predictions from these individual- level analyses to patterns of the consumers' abundance and distribution, to determine how important nutritional constraints may be in nature.