Bacterial mix helps predict future change

15 April, 2019

​A controlled, laboratory approach, along with computer simulations, has helped KAUST researchers to show that bacterial communities can homogenously disperse within aquatic ecosystems even with slow flowing water and the persistence of their preferred, localized conditions.

“Bacterial communities are a fundamental part of water-based ecosystems, such as oceans, lakes and rivers,” explains microbial ecologist Stilianos Fodelianakis. “They represent most of an ecosystem’s biomass, and drive carbon and nutrient cycles. If we can understand how these communities change, we might be able to predict changes in the whole ecosystem in light of climate change.”

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Image: Multiple strains of bacteria exist within an ecosystem: shown here are three bacterial members of the synthetic community viewed under a scanning electron microscope.
Reproduced under a Creative Commons license 4.0 from reference 1 © 2019 KAUST