Seminar, 08. December 2022, Dr. Leonardo Oña

Thursday, 08. December 2022, 4.15 p.m. 

Ernst-Abbe-Platz 2, 4. Etage – SR 3423

Cooperation increases robustness to ecological disturbance in microbial cross-feeding networks

Dr. Leonardo Oña
(Department of Ecology, Osnabrueck University, Germany)

Microorganisms mainly exist within complex networks of ecological interactions. Given that the growth and survival of community members frequently depend on an obligate exchange of essential metabolites, it is generally unclear how such communities can persist despite the destabilising force of ecological disturbance. Here we address this issue using a population dynamics model. In contrast to previous work that suggests the potential for obligate interaction networks to emerge is limited, we find the opposite pattern: ecological disturbance favours both specific network topologies and cooperative cross‐feeding among community members. These results establish environmental perturbations as a key driver shaping the architecture of microbial interaction networks.