Story behind the paper: The enigmatic persistence of dissolved organic matter in the oceans

Why complex systems theory might help to better understand one of the most mysterious carbon pools in the earth system

The Gossip Paradox: why do bacteria share genes?

Bacteria, in contrast to eukaryotic cells contain two types of genes: chromosomal genes that are fixed to the cell, and plasmids that are mobile genes, easily shared to other cells. The sharing of plasmid genes between individual bacteria and between …

Emergent Diversity and Persistent Turnover in Evolving Microbial Cross-Feeding Networks

A distinguishing feature of many ecological networks in the microbial realm is the diversity of substrates that could potentially serve as energy sources for microbial consumers. The microorganisms are themselves the agents of compound …

Comment on 'Indirect Fitness Benefits Enable the Spread of Host Genes Promoting Costly Transfer of Beneficial Plasmids'

In their 2016 paper, Dimitriu and colleagues make use of both experimental and analytical techniques to study horizontal gene transfer and the conditions under which indirect fitness effects select for cells with high donor ability. They report both …

Enigmatic persistence of dissolved organic matter in the oceans

Marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) contains more carbon than the combined stocks of Earth’s biota. Organisms in the ocean continuously release a myriad of molecules that become food for microheterotrophs, but, for unknown reasons, a residual …

Story behind the paper: Optimal stock-enhancement of a spatially distributed renewable resource

When the watering can principle is not a good idea to manage your ecosystem

Shape matters: the relationship between cell geometry and diversity in phytoplankton

We analyse data on marine unicellular phytoplankton, exhibiting an astounding diversity of cell sizes and shapes. We quantify the variation in size and shape and explore their effects on taxonomic diversity. We find that cells of intermediate volume exhibit the greatest shape variation, with shapes ranging from oblate to extremely elongated forms, while very small and large cells are mostly compact. We show that cell shape has a strong effect on phytoplankton diversity, comparable in magnitude to the effect of cell volume, with both traits explaining up to 92% of the variance in phytoplankton diversity. Species richness decays exponentially with cell elongation and displays a log-normal dependence on cell volume, peaking for compact cells of intermediate volume.

Microbial physiology governs the oceanic distribution of dissolved organic carbon in a scenario of equal degradability

Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) forms one of the largest active organic carbon reservoirs on Earth and reaches average radiocarbon ages of several thousand years. Many previous large scale DOC models assume different lability classes (labile to …

Marine Microbiome

Complex systems theory of dissolved organic matter

Movement Ecology

Linking magnetic and other orientation cues to global migration patterns