Modelling fungal competition for space:Towards prediction of community dynamics

Diogenis A. Kiziridis, ,ORCID: 0000-0003-4452-7106, Department of Mathematics, Swansea University, Bay Campus, Swansea, SA1 8EN, UK, Mike S. Fowler, Chenggui Yuan, ,ORCID: 0000-0003-1544-0407, Department of Biosciences, Swansea University, Singleton Park Campus, Swansea, SA2 8PP, UK, ,ORCID: 0000-0003-0486-5450, Department of Mathematics, Swansea University, Bay Campus, Swansea, SA1 8EN, UK
2017 Discrete and continuous dynamical systems. Series B  
Filamentous fungi contribute to ecosystem and human-induced processes such as primary production, bioremediation, biogeochemical cycling and biocontrol. Predicting the dynamics of fungal communities can hence improve our forecasts of ecological processes which depend on fungal community structure. In this work, we aimed to develop simple theoretical models of fungal interactions with ordinary and partial differential equations, and to validate model predictions against community dynamics of a
more » ... ree species empirical system. We found that space is an important factor for the prediction of community dynamics, since the performance was poor for models of ordinary differential equations assuming well-mixed nutrient substrate. The models of partial differential equations could satisfactorily predict the dynamics of a single species, but exhibited limitations which prevented the prediction of empirical community dynamics. One such limitation is the arbitrary choice of a threshold local density above which a fungal mycelium is considered present in the model. In conclusion, spatially explicit simulation models, able to incorporate different factors influencing interaction outcomes and hence dynamics, appear as a more promising direction towards prediction of fungal community dynamics. 2010 Mathematics Subject Classification. Primary: 92B05; Secondary: 34A34, 35Q92, 92D40.
doi:10.3934/dcdsb.2020104 fatcat:zs36r6chlvfg7pu2tgymsf4pme