The effect of resource quantity and resource stoichiometry on microbial carbon-use-efficiency

FEMS Microbiology Ecology
By: , and 



The carbon-use-efficiency (CUE) of microorganisms is an important parameter in determining ecosystem-level carbon (C) cycling; however, little is known about how variance in resources affects microbial CUE. To elucidate how resource quantity and resource stoichiometry affect microbial CUE, we cultured four microorganisms - two fungi (Aspergillus nidulans and Trichoderma harzianum) and two bacteria (Pectobacterium carotovorum and Verrucomicrobium spinosum) - under 12 unique C, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) ratios. Whereas the CUE of A. nidulans was strongly affected by C, bacterial CUE was more strongly affected by mineral nutrients (N and P). Specifically, CUE in P. carotovorum was positively correlated with P, while CUE of V. spinosum primarily depended on N. This resulted in a positive relationship between fungal CUE and resource C : nutrient stoichiometry and a negative relationship between bacterial CUE and resource C : nutrient stoichiometry. The difference in the direction of the relationship between CUE and C : nutrient for fungi vs. bacteria was consistent with differences in biomass stoichiometry and suggested that fungi have a higher C demand than bacteria. These results suggest that the links between biomass stoichiometry, resource demand and CUE may provide a mechanism for commonly observed temporal and spatial patterns in microbial community structure and function in natural habitats.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The effect of resource quantity and resource stoichiometry on microbial carbon-use-efficiency
Series title FEMS Microbiology Ecology
DOI 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2010.00912.x
Volume 73
Issue 3
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Federation of European Microbiological Societies
Publisher location Amsterdam
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title FEMS Microbiology Ecology
First page 430
Last page 440
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