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Data from: The Metapopulation Microcosm Plate: a modified 96-well plate for use in microbial metapopulation experiments

Citation

Kurkjian, Helen; Kurkjian, Helen M. (2018), Data from: The Metapopulation Microcosm Plate: a modified 96-well plate for use in microbial metapopulation experiments, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dq335ff

Abstract

1. Researchers in many sub-fields of ecology and evolutionary biology test hypotheses relating to metapopulation dynamics and landscape spatial structure. Key aspects of these hypotheses are often (a) large numbers of subpopulations and dispersal corridors and (b) their positions relative to each other. Testing such spatial hypotheses using traditional lab equipment and methods can be impractical, unwieldy, expensive, or impossible. 2. The Metapopulation Microcosm Plate (MMP) overcomes these difficulties. This device resembles a 96-well microtiter plate, but contains dispersal corridors between wells that can be modified in their spatial position to create various artificial landscapes, each with up to 96 habitat patches and hundreds of non-intersecting dispersal corridors of varying lengths. The device can be filled with nutrient broth and used to culture microbial metapopulations. 3. Here I describe how MMPs are designed, assembled, sterilized, and filled and demonstrate that MMPs can remain water tight and sterile with minimal evaporation for 5-7 days. 4. MMPs can be used to test many spatial hypotheses that have previously been prohibitively difficult to test. Further, by incorporating individual behavioral responses to within-patch conditions, MMPs can incorporate greater realism than do directed pipetting or other artificial dispersal methods.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1601762