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Current attempts to understand and model global biogeochemical cycles are hindered by a lack of information on the magnitude, site of action and organisms responsible for the catabolic breakdown (through respiration) of organic matter produced in aquatic systems. The important questions in both aquatic productivity and the role of the oceans in controlling atmospheric greenhouse gases, relate to the balance between photosynthesis and respiration.
1. Respiration in aquatic ecosystems: history and background; 2. Ecophysiology of microbial respiration; 3. Respiration in aquatic photolithotrophs; 4. Respiration in aquatic protists; 5. Zooplankton respiration; 6. Respiration in wetland ecosystems; 7. Respiration in lakes; 8. Estuarine respiration: an overview of benthic, pelagic and whole system respiration; 9. Respiration and its measurement in surface marine waters; 10. Respiration in the mesopelagic and bathypelagic zones of the ocean; 11. Respiration in coastal benthic communities; 12. Suboxic respiration in the oceanic water column; 13. Incorporating plankton respiration in models of aquatic ecosystem function; 14. The global significance of respiration in aquatic ecosystems: from single cells to the biosphere
Overall, Respiration in Aquatic Ecosystems is an inspiration for those in the field to expand their own studies, to students to find out more about the specific role of respiration in global carbon fluxes and for scientists, such as myself, who have not previously considered the community and global implications of respiratory measurements.