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Title (Primary) Non-cooperative behaviour of bacteria prevents efficient phosphorus utilization of planktonic communities
Author Tittel, J.; Büttner, O.; Kamjunke, N.;
Journal Journal of Plankton Research
Year 2012
Department ASAM; SEEFO; FLOEK;
Volume 34
Issue 2
Language englisch;
Keywords bacteria; phytoplankton; exudation; phosphorus; differential equation model
Abstract

Aquatic bacteria are considered to exhibit a paradoxical behaviour. They luxuriously consume phosphorus, the element often restricting the abundance of algae, which provide the organic substrates maintaining bacterial growth. Here, we test the hypothesis that bacteria can limit their uptake of phosphorus and increase the availability of phosphorus to algae. The physiological costs for bacteria must be compensated for by a surplus of photosynthetic exudates facilitating higher biomass production. To test the potential of such an economic behaviour, we used a new differential equation model that was parameterized by independent experiments. Model results indicate that this potential does exist. As a consequence, we conducted continuous growth chemostat experiments. Bacteria did not leave more phosphorus to, “high exudation” algae compared with algae with low release. Therefore, the hypothesis was not supported by the experiments. However, bacteria significantly increased production 1.4–1.8-fold in cultures with “high exudation” algae. This was explained by an increase in conversion of organic carbon from growth medium into bacteria biomass. Algal exudates were quantitatively negligible but could act as growth factors. The results show that biomass of algae and bacteria cannot be predicted solely by mineral nutrients and carbon as assumed by the classical theory.
ID 11918
Persistent UFZ Identifier http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=11918
Tittel, J., Büttner, O., Kamjunke, N. (2012):
Non-cooperative behaviour of bacteria prevents efficient phosphorus utilization of planktonic communities
J. Plankton Res. 34 (2), 102 - 112