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Effects of diversity and dispersal on the response of bacterial community to starvation perturbation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Biology Education Centre.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Bacterial diversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationships have received considerable attention during the last three decades and tend to be positive in most cases. However, most studies were done in closed systems and largely ignored the importance of placing local communities into the metacommunity context, in which dispersal can be a crucial factor modifying community diversity and composition and ecosystem functioning.

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of both diversity and dispersal on the responses of bacterial community to a starvation perturbation. To achieve this, we implemented a batch culture experiment using the dilution-to-extinction approach to create a diversity gradient of local bacterial community richness. Different dispersal rates were manipulated by transferring cells in different quantities from a regional source to the cultures, and they were then exposed to a perturbation by transferring them into water from another lake which differed in organic carbon content and quality. We evaluated the BEF relationship by measuring the bacterial community composition using t-RFLP and multiple ecosystem functions. Generally, our results demonstrated that diversity and dispersal have an interactive and positive effect on ecosystem functioning. In particular, dispersal had a stronger and more pronounced effect on ecosystem functioning when bacterial diversity was low. When evaluating the responses of bacterial community respiration, no significant difference was observed among different treatments, however, there were clear differences in substrate utilization patterns, implying that specific functions, such as decomposing certain substrates, are more sensitive to a perturbation than general functions, such as respiration. Therefore it is important to include multiple functional parameters when studying BEF relationships and, in particular, when applying our knowledge to the conservation of natural environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 34 p.
Keyword [en]
bacterial diversity and ecosystem functioning relationship (BEF relationship), metacommunity framework, perturbation, multiple functioning
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-166049OAI: diva2:475229
Educational program
Master Programme in Biology
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-01-23 Created: 2012-01-10 Last updated: 2012-01-23Bibliographically approved

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LimnologyBiology Education Centre

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