Redfield Ratio

The ‘Redfield ratio’ or ‘Redfield stoichiometry’ refers to the molar ratio of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in phytoplankton (principally diatoms). When nutrients are not limiting, most phytoplankton has the following molar ratio of elements:

C:N:P = 106: 16: 1

  1. Redfield, A.C., Ketchum, B.H., and Richards, F.A. (1963). The influence of organisms on the composition of seawater. In The Sea, Vol. 2, (Ed. M.N. Hill), pp 26-79. (Wiley Interscience: New York).
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