A mathematical model of nutrient influence on fungal competition

Muhamed Choudhury, P.M.J. Trevelyan, Graeme Boswell

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Fungi have a well-established role in nutrient cycling and are widely used as agents in biological control and in the remediation of polluted landscapes. Competition for resources between different fungal communities is common in these contexts and its outcome impacts on the success of such biotechnological applications. In this investigation a mathematical model is constructed to represent competition between two fungal colonies that have access to different resources. It is shown that the model equations display a multitude of travelling wave solutions and that the outcome of competition between two fungal biomasses can be controlled through the simple manipulation of the nutrient resources available to each. The model equations are also numerically integrated to illustrate the range of outcomes arising from fungal competition and these results are placed in context of established experimental observations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Early online date10 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2018


  • Fungi
  • Network
  • Partial differential equation
  • Travelling wave
  • Phase plane


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