Stress causes interspecific facilitation within a compost community

Hesse, Elze, O'Brien, Siobhan ORCID: 0000-0003-2741-6172, Lujan, Adela M, Sanders, Dirk, Bayer, Florian, Veen, Eleanor M, Hodgson, Dave J and Buckling, Angus
(2021) Stress causes interspecific facilitation within a compost community. ECOLOGY LETTERS, 24 (10). pp. 2169-2177.

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Ecological theory predicts interactions between species to become more positive under abiotic stress, while competition should prevail in more benign environments. However, experimental tests of this stress gradient hypothesis in natural microbial communities are lacking. We test this hypothesis by measuring interactions between 10 different members of a bacterial community inhabiting potting compost in the presence or absence of toxic copper stress. We found that copper stress caused significant net changes in species interaction signs, shifting the net balance towards more positive interactions. This pattern was at least in part driven by copper-sensitive isolates - that produced relatively small amounts of metal-detoxifying siderophores - benefitting from the presence of other species that produce extracellular detoxifying agents. As well as providing support for the stress gradient hypothesis, our results highlight the importance of community-wide public goods in shaping microbial community composition.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: abiotic stress, bacteria, commensalism, community, mutualism, public goods, species interactions, toxic metals
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2022 11:43
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2023 14:10
DOI: 10.1111/ele.13847
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