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Space and patchiness affects diversity-function relationships in fungal decay communities

O'Leary, Jade, Journeaux, Katie L., Houthuijs, Kas, Engel, Jasper, Sommer, Ulf, Viant, Mark R., Eastwood, Daniel C., Muller, Carsten and Boddy, Lynne 2021. Space and patchiness affects diversity-function relationships in fungal decay communities. ISME Journal 15 , pp. 720-731. 10.1038/s41396-020-00808-7

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The space in which organisms live determines health and physicality, shaping the way in which they interact with their peers. Space, therefore, is critically important for species diversity and the function performed by individuals within mixed communities. The biotic and abiotic factors defined by the space that organisms occupy are ecologically significant and the difficulty in quantifying space-defined parameters within complex systems limits the study of ecological processes. Here, we overcome this problem using a tractable system whereby spatial heterogeneity in interacting fungal wood decay communities demonstrates that scale and patchiness of territory directly influence coexistence dynamics. Spatial arrangement in 2- and 3-dimensions resulted in measurable metabolic differences that provide evidence of a clear biological response to changing landscape architecture. This is of vital importance to microbial systems in all ecosystems globally, as our results demonstrate that community function is driven by the effects of spatial dynamics.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Springer Nature
ISSN: 1751-7362
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 5 October 2020
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2021 03:23

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