The role of microbial communities in oxic-anoxic regime shifts

6 October 2017

In a study published in Nature Communications, Prof Jef Huisman, Prof Gerard Muyzer, PhD student Muhe Diao and colleagues assess the role of microbial communities in environmental regime shifts.

Gradual environmental changes (such as global warming or eutrophication) can lead to abrupt transitions in ecosystems. If such transitions lead to lasting changes in the structure and functioning of ecosystems, they are generally known as regime shifts.

Although such regime shifts have been well documented for a variety of environments, the role of microbial communities in such transitions is not very well understood.

Oxic-anoxic regime shifts

For this paper, the authors compare model and field data to improve our understanding of the role of microbial communities in oxic-anoxic shifts in aquatic environments, such as those occurring in eutrophic lakes. 

A better knowledge and prediction of oxic-anoxic regime shifts is important to mitigate the effects of continued eutrophication and global warming. 

Publication details

Timothy Bush, Muhe Diao, Rosalind J. Allen, Ruben Sinnige, Gerard Muyzer & Jef Huisman: Oxic-anoxic regime shifts mediated by feedbacks between biogeochemical processes and microbial community dynamics. Nature Communications 8, Article number: 789 (2017)

Prof Jef Huisman is Professor in Aquatic Microbiology at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics at the University of Amsterdam (IBED/UvA).

Gerard Muyzer is Professor of Microbial Systems Ecology at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics at the University of Amsterdam (IBED/UvA).

Muhe Diao is a PhD student at University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science.

Published by  IBED Water