Biomass recycling: a key to efficient foraging by fungal colonies

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Abstract

Using an existing fungal growth model that captures the physiological processes of vegetative growth and development of a fungal colony, and in particular incorporates, for the first time, a recycling of biomass mechanism, we explore the effects of recycling in various environmental contexts. Here we test whether resource density thresholds exist, below which finite colony expansion occurs, in three dimensions based on the number of randomly removed resource sites. We then test the effect of recycling on resource density thresholds. Modelled soil structure, derived from experiments, is combined with the fungal growth model. The effect of recycling on foraging efficiency is investigated for resource distributed homogeneously and heterogeneously throughout the modelled soil structure. The simulated results show that resource density thresholds do exist in three dimensions and that the recycling mechanism decreases the threshold value. Our results indicate that recycling promotes persistence and a recycling mechanism is crucial for those fungi that reside in a resource patchy and limited environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1558-1568
Number of pages11
JournalOikos
Volume116
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2007

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recycling
resource
soil structure
growth models
microbial growth
foraging
biomass
testing
vegetative growth
growth and development
fungi
foraging efficiency
persistence
fungus
experiment

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Falconer, Ruth E.; Bown, James L.; White, Nia A.; Crawford, John W. / Biomass recycling : a key to efficient foraging by fungal colonies.

In: Oikos, Vol. 116, No. 9, 09.2007, p. 1558-1568.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Biomass recycling : a key to efficient foraging by fungal colonies. / Falconer, Ruth E.; Bown, James L.; White, Nia A.; Crawford, John W.

In: Oikos, Vol. 116, No. 9, 09.2007, p. 1558-1568.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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