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Turbulent Fluid Acceleration Generates Clusters of Gyrotactic Microorganisms

De Lillo, Filippo and Cencini, Massimo and Durham, William M. and Barry, Michael and Stocker, Roman and Climent, Éric and Boffetta, Guido Turbulent Fluid Acceleration Generates Clusters of Gyrotactic Microorganisms. (2014) Physical Review Letters, 112 (4). 044502. ISSN 0031-9007

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.044502


The motility of microorganisms is often biased by gradients in physical and chemical properties of their environment, with myriad implications on their ecology. Here we show that fluid acceleration reorients gyrotactic plankton, triggering small-scale clustering.We experimentally demonstrate this phenomenon by studying the distribution of the phytoplankton Chlamydomonas augustae within a rotating tank and find it to be in good agreement with a new, generalized model of gyrotaxis. When this model is implemented in a direct numerical simulation of turbulent flow, we find that fluid acceleration generates multifractal plankton clustering, with faster and more stable cells producing stronger clustering. By producing accumulations in high-vorticity regions, this process is fundamentally different from clustering by gravitational acceleration, expanding the range of mechanisms by which turbulent flows can impact the spatial distribution of active suspensions.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to APS editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.aps.org/ The original PDF of the article can be found at http://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.044502
HAL Id:hal-01303793
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - CNR (ITALY)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Other partners > Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT (USA)
Other partners > Università degli studi di Torino - UNITO (ITALY)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > University of Oxford (UNITED KINGDOM)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:18 Apr 2016 14:23

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