Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.07.006
Title (Primary) Incorporating dormancy in dynamic microbial community models
Author Stolpovsky, K.; Martínez-Lavanchy, P.M.; Heipieper, H.J.; van Cappellen, P.; Thullner, M.
Journal Ecological Modelling
Year 2011
Department UMB; UBT
Volume 222
Issue 17
Page From 3092
Page To 3102
Language englisch
Keywords Dormancy; Starvation; Resuscitation; Microorganisms; Degradation; Modeling
Biogeochemical activity in natural and engineered systems depends on the abundances, functional capabilities and physiological states of the indigenous microorganisms. Typically, only a fraction of the microbial population is active at any given time. As environmental conditions change, previously active microorganisms may switch to an inactive or dormant state, while dormant ones may become active. Here, we present an extended modeling concept for the growth and decay of microorganisms that explicitly accounts for their ability to switch between active and dormant states. The equations describing the switching between physiological states are implemented into a biogeochemical reaction simulator. The model was used to reproduce published data from two laboratory experiments in which microorganisms were subjected to intermittent substrate supply or reactivated after a prolonged period of starvation. Parameter values obtained from the simulation of these experiments were used for subsequent sensitivity analyses and for the simulation of hypothetical scenarios. Results for hypothetical microbial communities consisting of two competing species exposed to periodic feeding imply that, under certain conditions, an effective dormancy-reactivation strategy may have a competitive advantage over a fast growth strategy. That is, organisms that can switch rapidly in response to fluctuations in external conditions may outcompete fast-growing organisms. Furthermore, certain combinations of growth and dormancy strategies may lead to the long-term coexistence of the two competing species. Overall, the simulated population dynamics show that dormancy is an important feature of microbial communities, which can lead to complex responses to environmental fluctuations.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Stolpovsky, K., Martínez-Lavanchy, P.M., Heipieper, H.J., van Cappellen, P., Thullner, M. (2011):
Incorporating dormancy in dynamic microbial community models
Ecol. Model. 222 (17), 3092 - 3102