Jun 23, 2007

Temperature fluctuation facilitates coexistence of competing species in experimental microbial communities

The Journal of Animal Ecology
Lin Jiang, Peter J Morin


1. Temperature fluctuation is a general phenomenon affecting many, if not all, species in nature. While a few studies have shown that temperature fluctuation can promote species coexistence, little is known about the effects of different regimes of temperature fluctuation on coexistence. 2. We experimentally investigated how temperature fluctuation and different regimes of temperature fluctuation ('red' environments in which temperature series exhibited positive temporal autocorrelation vs. 'white' environments in which temperature series showed little autocorrelation) affected the coexistence of two ciliated protists, Colpidium striatum Stein and Paramecium tetraurelia Sonneborn, which competed for bacterial resources. 3. We have previously shown that the two species differed in their growth responses to changes in temperature and in their resource utilization patterns. The two species were not always able to coexist at constant temperatures (22, 24, 26, 28 and 30 degrees C), with Paramecium being competitively excluded at 26 and 28 degrees C. This indicated that resource partitioning was insufficient to maintain coexistence at these temperatures. 4. Here we show that in both red and white environments in which temperature var...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

IK gene
Competitive Behavior
Colpidium striatum

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