The selection of microbial communities by constant or fluctuating temperatures

The diversity of bacterial communities isolated from Antarctic lake sediment in chemostats under constant low temperature (8°C) or diurnally fluctuating temperature (1°C to 16°C) was examined. The median optimum temperature for growth of the freshwater bacteria isolated from the fluctuation chemostat was significantly lower (P < 1%) than that for those from the constant temperature chemostat. The diversity of the enriched bacterial community isolated in the chemostat culture subjected to short‐term temperature fluctuations was greater than that enriched under constant temperature. At least 4 different groups of bacteria, that occupied separate ‘temperature niches’, were isolated from the fluctuating chemostat compared to only one group isolated from the stable chemostat. Furthermore, a pseudomonad from the fluctuating chemostat was shown to out‐compete another pseudomonad from the stable chemostat when both were subjected to the fluctuating temperature regime. However, the pseudomonad of constant (8°C) temperature origin out‐competed that isolated under fluctuating conditions when subjected to a stable temperature regime.


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Authors: Upton, A.C., Nedwell, D.B., Wynn-Williams, D.D.

1 December, 1990
FEMS Microbiology Letters / 74
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