The conceptual relationships of pool sizes and metabolism of detrital dissolved (DOC) and particulate (POC) organic carbon in aquatic ecosystems are evaluated in relation to trophic dynamics of organisms. In spite of the relatively refractory composition of detrital DOC, its large pool
size and slow degradation can dominate ecosystem metabolism and provide an inherent stability to carbon flow through trophic dynamic structural components via nutrient regeneration and bacterial metabolic scavenging of POC detritus through dissolved organic matter to gaseous phases. Metabolism
of DOC and the particulate detrital organic by-products of producers by bacterial decomposition provides this stability.
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