Monolayers and Microbial Dispersal

Science  15 Mar 1974:
Vol. 183, Issue 4129, pp. 1079-1081
DOI: 10.1126/science.183.4129.1079


Aqueous films on terrestrial litter are inhabited by numerous microorganisms; the surfaces of such films are covered by monolayer-forming substances. The spreading pressure of the latter can result in transport of floating and submerged organisms to adjacent water films with clean surfaces. The clean surfaces, produced by rain or possibly dew, permit rapid vertical and horizontal dispersal of microorganisms onto newly fallen leaves and other plant materials.