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Benefits of the carbon-nutrient balance hypothesis

Benefits of the carbon-nutrient balance hypothesis

Oikos 98(3): 534-536

ISSN/ISBN: 0030-1299

DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0706.2002.980318.x

The carbon-nutrient balance hypothesis (CNBH) is one of a number of approaches to understanding patterns of resource allocation in plants. Numerous empirical tests of the CNBH's predictions have led to certain key refinements and to the recognition that some of the simplifications inherent in the model limit its utility. However, as long as the model is applied to compounds with large pools, and the biosynthetic pathways of secondary metabolites are considered, the CNBH still serves as a useful guide for ecological research on resource allocation. One of the model's values is that it attempts to explain the plasticity of individuals but does not assume that all responses of individuals are optimal in terms of maximizing fitness.

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