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Microbial communities in nature typically expand across complex surfaces that contain a wide variety of surface features, such as surface curvatures, surface textures, and the presence of physical objects. Our goal is to experimentally test how certain types of surface features are likely to affect spatial self-organization. We then seek to elucidate the ecological and evolutionary consequences of those surface-induced changes in spatial self-organization, such as their effects on metabolic processes and horizontal gene transfer. 

environmental heterogeneity

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