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Experimental demonstration of chaos in a microbial food web

MPG-Autoren
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons61100

Becks,  Lutz
Research Group Community Dynamics, Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56752

Jürgens,  Klaus
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56577

Arndt,  Hartmut
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Becks, L., Hilker, F. M., Malchow, H., Jürgens, K., & Arndt, H. (2005). Experimental demonstration of chaos in a microbial food web. Nature, 435(7046), 1226-1229. doi:10.1038/nature03627.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-D9BA-5
Zusammenfassung
Discovering why natural population densities change over time and vary with location is a central goal of ecological and evolutional disciplines. The recognition that even simple ecological systems can undergo chaotic behaviour has made chaos a topic of considerable interest among theoretical ecologists(1-4). However, there is still a lack of experimental evidence that chaotic behaviour occurs in the real world of coexisting populations in multi-species systems. Here we study the dynamics of a defined predator - prey system consisting of a bacterivorous ciliate and two bacterial prey species. The bacterial species preferred by the ciliate was the superior competitor. Experimental conditions were kept constant with continuous cultivation in a one-stage chemostat. We show that the dynamic behaviour of such a two-prey, one-predator system includes chaotic behaviour, as well as stable limit cycles and coexistence at equilibrium. Changes in the population dynamics were triggered by changes in the dilution rates of the chemostat. The observed dynamics were verified by estimating the corresponding Lyapunov exponents. Such a defined microbial food web offers a new possibility for the experimental study of deterministic chaos in real biological systems