This chapter introduces a modeling approach to understand the interplay between isotope mixing and fractionation in the biosphere. The approach is named Isotope Chi (like Tai Chi) to represent the power in this new approach. An initial example deals with imaginary chocolate isotopes, to stimulate your appetite and to help you get in tune with how fractionation and mixing work together in isotope cycling. The next four sections use a more realistic example of photosynthesis and respiration in the sea to fully introduce the I Chi modeling. A final section switches to a terrestrial example with cows. The different examples develop the appreciation that isotope distributions in natural systems reflect the net balance between fractionation and mixing.
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