Katharina Besemer

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Microbial biofilms assemble from cells that attach to a surface, where they develop into matrix-enclosed communities. Mechanistic insights into community assembly are crucial to better understand the functioning of natural biofilms, which drive key ecosystem processes in numerous aquatic habitats. We studied the role of the suspended microbial community as(More)
Biofilm formation is controlled by an array of coupled physical, chemical, and biotic processes. Despite the ecological relevance of microbial biofilms, their community formation and succession remain poorly understood. We investigated the effect of flow velocity, as the major physical force in stream ecosystems, on biofilm community succession (as(More)
Streams and rivers form dense networks, shape the Earth's surface and, in their sediments, provide an immensely large surface area for microbial growth. Biofilms dominate microbial life in streams and rivers, drive crucial ecosystem processes and contribute substantially to global biogeochemical fluxes. In turn, water flow and related deliveries of(More)
Natural floodplains play an essential role in the processing and decomposition of organic matter and in the self-purification ability of rivers, largely due to the activity of bacteria. Knowledge about the composition of bacterial communities and its impact on organic-matter cycling is crucial for the understanding of ecological processes in(More)
Streams are highly heterogeneous ecosystems, in terms of both geomorphology and hydrodynamics. While flow is recognized to shape the physical architecture of benthic biofilms, we do not yet understand what drives community assembly and biodiversity of benthic biofilms in the heterogeneous flow landscapes of streams. Within a metacommunity ecology framework,(More)
Laboratory studies have documented the extensive architectural differentiation of biofilms into complex structures, including filamentous streamers generated by turbulent flow. Still, it remains elusive whether this spatial organization of natural biofilms is reflected in the community structure. We analyzed bacterial community differentiation between the(More)
BACKGROUND Evidence increasingly shows that stream ecosystems greatly contribute to global carbon fluxes. This involves a tight coupling between biofilms, the dominant form of microbial life in streams, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), a very significant pool of organic carbon on Earth. Yet, the interactions between microbial biodiversity and the(More)
Streams and rivers form conspicuous networks on the Earth and are among nature's most effective integrators. Their dendritic structure reaches into the terrestrial landscape and accumulates water and sediment en route from abundant headwater streams to a single river mouth. The prevailing view over the last decades has been that biological diversity also(More)
Ecology, with a traditional focus on plants and animals, seeks to understand the mechanisms underlying structure and dynamics of communities. In microbial ecology, the focus is changing from planktonic communities to attached biofilms that dominate microbial life in numerous systems. Therefore, interest in the structure and function of biofilms is on the(More)
Recent studies highlight linkages among the architecture of ecological networks, their persistence facing environmental disturbance, and the related patterns of biodiversity. A hitherto unresolved question is whether the structure of the landscape inhabited by organisms leaves an imprint on their ecological networks. We analyzed, based on pyrosequencing(More)