ESM 2022 poster: Patterns of bacterial-fungal co-occurrence in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) deadwood

For those that were not able to attend the Ecology of Soil Microorganisms 2022 conference (which ran from 19-23 July in Prague, Czech Republic) I got permission to upload the poster which I presented. Being a scientist can also mean doing a bit of public speaking and graphic design. Below, you will find the abstract and poster.

Patterns of bacterial-fungal co-occurrence in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) deadwood

Jason Bosch, Ema Némethová, Vojtěch Tláskal, Vendula Brabcová, Petr Baldrian

Deadwood represents an important nutrient source and microbial habitat in forest ecosystems. Its decomposition is one of the key processes of global carbon turnover considering that European natural forests can contain up to 1200 m3 of deadwood per hectare. This deadwood is primarily decomposed by saprotrophic fungi but bacteria also have a role to play, particularly in the provision of nitrogen. Previous work has shown that the first fungi to become established will physically prevent further colonisation by other fungi. As bacteria and fungi can interact in both synergistic and antagonistic ways, we expect that these fungal zones of control will also influence the bacterial community composition at local scales.

We investigated the patterns of microbial diversity and co-occurrence in 1 cm3 blocks of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) deadwood collected from the Žofínský prales National Nature Reserve in the Czech Republic, using 16S and ITS amplicon sequencing. Compared to previously-collected “whole log” communities, the small-scale communities showed less diversity both individually and in combination. By correlating fungal and bacterial species, we were able to expand on previous work which showed that fungi influence bacterial community composition. As small-scale microbial communities collected from the same log can differ dramatically from one another, we advise caution when interpreting “whole log” microbial community data as the results may not reflect the actual interactions which take place in the deadwood.

If you would like to cite the poster, you can use the abstract book citation:

Piché Choquette S., Slaninová Kyselková M., Pospíšek M., Baldrian P. (Eds.), 2022. Ecology of Soil Microorganisms – Book of Abstracts, Prague, June 19 – 23, 2022.

Who are we really?

At the beginning of this year I alluded to a piece I had written for the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement Young Science Communicator’s Competition. The competition results are now available and, unfortunately, I did not win anything. I’m not aware of anything preventing me from sharing my entry with you though so here it is. Continue reading

Quicklinks: Bacteria, seafood and dolphins

I’m fairly busy this week so I’m not likely to have time to post anything substantial before Sunday. I don’t like this sitting empty though so I’ve found some more interesting links to share.

You might remember from earlier that I’m rather interested in how we live with bacteria. On that topic I saw two interesting articles lately. The first suggests that the bacteria living in your gut may play a role in your susceptibility to melamine poisoning and the second looks at how the bacteria living on our teeth have changed and what the effects of that have been.

Then there’s a bit about whether seafood feels pain. It’s interesting for me because I became a vegetarian for just those concerns. I’m confident other mammals feel pain and suffer just like us but it’s much harder to say anything about creatures that diverged much further back in time. In the end I decided it was just easier to cut out the grey areas by not eating any animals but it is good to know for certain.

Still in the sea, here are some more entertaining links. 10 reasons why dolphins are undeniably awesome and 10 reasons why dolphins are assholes.

Quick link: Germs are us

It’s been quite a long break but I really should start easing my way back into this blog. I’ll start by sharing a fairly long piece from The New Yorker titled Germs Are Us. I’m a little upset to have found this because it’s basically the same topic I used for my article for the science writing competition I told you about. Not only is it much longer than mine (I had a 700 word limit) but it also covers pretty much every point I did and then more. On the other hand it might just mean I picked a relevant topic.