Most natural environments are characterized by frequent changes of their abiotic conditions. Microorganisms can respond to such changes by switching their physiological state between activity and dormancy allowing them to endure periods of unfavorable abiotic conditions. As a consequence, the competitiveness of microbial species is not simply determined by their growth performance under favorable conditions but also by their ability and readiness to respond to periods of unfavorable environmental conditions. The present study investigates the relevance of factors controlling the abundance and activity of individual bacterial species competing for an intermittently supplied substrate. For this purpose, numerical experiments were performed addressing the response of microbial systems to regularly applied feeding pulses. Simulation results show that community dynamics may exhibit a non-trivial link to the frequency of the external constraints and that for a certain combination of these environmental conditions coexistence of species is possible. The ecological implication of our results is that even non-dominant, neglected species can have a strong influence on realized species composition of dominant key species, due to their invisible presence enable the coexistence between important key species and by this affecting provided function of the system.
Research news | 2018-07-10
The World in 2050 initiative launches new report outlining synergies and benefits that render the goals achievable
Educational news | 2018-07-02
LEAP our leadership programme designed for changemakers that want to lead social-ecological transformations to sustainability. Application deadline is 5 August 2018.
Research news | 2018-06-27
Overfishing, fractured international relationships and political conflicts loom as fish migrate more unpredictably because of climate change. Here is how to deal with it
Research news | 2018-06-26
Profit-maximizing approaches are most likely to produce outcomes that harm people or the environment. But it depends on the circumstances whether a sustainable or a safe approach is most suitable, new study argues
General news | 2018-06-20
Will lead a redesign of the organisational structure at the centre
Research news | 2018-06-20
New book chapter looks into the economic, cultural and ecological reasons why some people leave the fisheries and aquaculture sector, and what could be done to reverse the trend