Living at the small scale – New paper

Thursday 08 Sep 16


Thomas Kiørboe
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 34 01
Microscopic aquatic organisms live in a non-intuitive ‘sticky’ world dominated by viscosity. The way that larger organisms swim does not function in this small-scale world, and predator-prey contact is impeded by viscosity. How do these small organisms cope?

Physicists have long examined the fluid dynamics of swimming at low Reynolds number, but the main scope has rarely been to understand the behavior and ecology of microorganisms. However, many ecological questions about the functioning of small aquatic organisms can only be addressed by the application of formal fluid physics. This tutorial review examines resource acquisition mechanisms in small aquatic organisms, ranging from uptake of dissolved molecules to feeding on suspended particulate prey, and examine how organism behaviors and morphologies may be shaped by the often non-intuitive small-scale fluid physics.

Read the paper here

Kiørboe, T. 2016. Fluid dynamic constraints on resource acquisition in small pelagic organisms. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. 225: 669–683. doi:10.1140/epjst/e2015-50261-1
25 FEBRUARY 2020