Prominent Effect of Soil Network Heterogeneity on Microbial Invasion

F. J. Perez-Reche, S.N. Taraskin, W. Otten, M. P. Viana, L. da F. Costa, C. A. Gilligan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Using a network representation for real soil samples and mathematical models for microbial spread,
we show that the structural heterogeneity of the soil habitat may have a very signicant in
on the size of microbial invasions of the soil pore space. In particular, neglecting the soil structural
heterogeneity may lead to a substantial underestimation of microbial invasion. Such eects are
explained in terms of a crucial interplay between heterogeneity in microbial spread and heterogeneity
in the topology of soil networks. The main in
uence of network topology on invasion is linked to the
existence of long channels in soil networks that may act as bridges for transmission of microorganisms
between distant parts of soil.
Original languageEnglish
Article number098102
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9
Early online date29 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2012


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