Decomposition of organic matter is an important ecosystem process governed in part by bacteria. The process of decomposition is expected to benefit from interspecific bacterial interactions such as resource partitioning and facilitation. However, the relative importance of resource niche breadth (metabolic diversity) and resource niche overlap (functional redundancy) on decomposition and the temporal stability of ecosystem processes received little scientific attention. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the effect of an increase in bacterial community resemblance on both decomposition and the stability of bacterial metabolism in aquatic sediments. To this end, we performed laboratory microcosm experiments in which we examined the influence of bacterial consortia differing in number and composition of species on bacterial activity (Electron Transport System Activity, ETSA), dissolved organic carbon production and wavelet transformed measurements of redox potential (Eh). Single substrate affinities of the individual bacterial species were determined in order to calculate the metabolic diversity of the microbial community. Results presented here indicate that bacterial activity and organic matter decomposition increase with widening of the resource niche breadth, and that metabolic stability increases with increasing overlap in bacterial resource niches, hinting that resource niche overlap can promote the stability of bacterial community metabolism.

Resource niche overlap promotes stability of bacterial community metabolism in experimental microcosms

Mulder, Christian
Formal Analysis
;
2015-01-01

Abstract

Decomposition of organic matter is an important ecosystem process governed in part by bacteria. The process of decomposition is expected to benefit from interspecific bacterial interactions such as resource partitioning and facilitation. However, the relative importance of resource niche breadth (metabolic diversity) and resource niche overlap (functional redundancy) on decomposition and the temporal stability of ecosystem processes received little scientific attention. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the effect of an increase in bacterial community resemblance on both decomposition and the stability of bacterial metabolism in aquatic sediments. To this end, we performed laboratory microcosm experiments in which we examined the influence of bacterial consortia differing in number and composition of species on bacterial activity (Electron Transport System Activity, ETSA), dissolved organic carbon production and wavelet transformed measurements of redox potential (Eh). Single substrate affinities of the individual bacterial species were determined in order to calculate the metabolic diversity of the microbial community. Results presented here indicate that bacterial activity and organic matter decomposition increase with widening of the resource niche breadth, and that metabolic stability increases with increasing overlap in bacterial resource niches, hinting that resource niche overlap can promote the stability of bacterial community metabolism.
2015
Decomposition; Functional redundancy; Niche complementarity; Niche overlap; Redox potential; Wavelet transform; Microbiology; Microbiology (medical)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/322800
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