Modelling and quantifying the effect of heterogeneity in soil physical conditions on fungal growth

Ruth E. Falconer, Simona M. Hapca, Wilfred Otten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Despite the importance of fungi in soil ecosystem services, a theoretical framework that links soil management strategies with fungal ecology is still lacking. One of the key challenges is to understand how the complex geometrical shape of pores in soil affects fungal spread and species interaction. Progress in this area has long been hampered by a lack of experimental techniques for quantification. In this paper we use X-ray computed tomography to quantify and characterize the pore geometry at microscopic scales (30 μm) that are relevant for fungal spread in soil. We analysed the pore geometry for replicated samples with bulk-densities ranging from 1.2–1.6 g/cm3. The bulk-density of soils significantly affected the total volume, mean pore diameter and connectivity of the pore volume. A previously described fungal growth model comprising a minimal set of physiological processes required to produce a range of phenotypic responses was used to analyse the effect of these geometric descriptors on fungal invasion, and we showed that the degree and rate of fungal invasion was affected mainly by pore volume and pore connectivity. The presented experimental and theoretical framework is a significant first step towards understanding how environmental change and soil management impact on fungal diversity in soils.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3731-3740
Number of pages10
JournalBiogeosciences
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

soil physical properties
microbial growth
soil management
bulk density
modeling
connectivity
soil
soil pore system
computed tomography
geometry
growth models
ecosystem services
soil ecosystem
X-radiation
ecosystem service
tomography
ecology
environmental change
fungi
fungus

Cite this

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title = "Modelling and quantifying the effect of heterogeneity in soil physical conditions on fungal growth",
abstract = "Despite the importance of fungi in soil ecosystem services, a theoretical framework that links soil management strategies with fungal ecology is still lacking. One of the key challenges is to understand how the complex geometrical shape of pores in soil affects fungal spread and species interaction. Progress in this area has long been hampered by a lack of experimental techniques for quantification. In this paper we use X-ray computed tomography to quantify and characterize the pore geometry at microscopic scales (30 μm) that are relevant for fungal spread in soil. We analysed the pore geometry for replicated samples with bulk-densities ranging from 1.2–1.6 g/cm3. The bulk-density of soils significantly affected the total volume, mean pore diameter and connectivity of the pore volume. A previously described fungal growth model comprising a minimal set of physiological processes required to produce a range of phenotypic responses was used to analyse the effect of these geometric descriptors on fungal invasion, and we showed that the degree and rate of fungal invasion was affected mainly by pore volume and pore connectivity. The presented experimental and theoretical framework is a significant first step towards understanding how environmental change and soil management impact on fungal diversity in soils.",
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Modelling and quantifying the effect of heterogeneity in soil physical conditions on fungal growth. / Falconer, Ruth E.; Hapca, Simona M.; Otten, Wilfred.

In: Biogeosciences, Vol. 7, 2010, p. 3731-3740.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Modelling and quantifying the effect of heterogeneity in soil physical conditions on fungal growth

AU - Falconer, Ruth E.

AU - Hapca, Simona M.

AU - Otten, Wilfred

PY - 2010

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AB - Despite the importance of fungi in soil ecosystem services, a theoretical framework that links soil management strategies with fungal ecology is still lacking. One of the key challenges is to understand how the complex geometrical shape of pores in soil affects fungal spread and species interaction. Progress in this area has long been hampered by a lack of experimental techniques for quantification. In this paper we use X-ray computed tomography to quantify and characterize the pore geometry at microscopic scales (30 μm) that are relevant for fungal spread in soil. We analysed the pore geometry for replicated samples with bulk-densities ranging from 1.2–1.6 g/cm3. The bulk-density of soils significantly affected the total volume, mean pore diameter and connectivity of the pore volume. A previously described fungal growth model comprising a minimal set of physiological processes required to produce a range of phenotypic responses was used to analyse the effect of these geometric descriptors on fungal invasion, and we showed that the degree and rate of fungal invasion was affected mainly by pore volume and pore connectivity. The presented experimental and theoretical framework is a significant first step towards understanding how environmental change and soil management impact on fungal diversity in soils.

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