DIntroFIG 2: Natural habitat for Caenorhabditis elegans.
C. elegans nematodes are found naturally in decaying plant matter, such as fruit orchard floors and compost heaps. This photograph illustrates the habitat diversity of a fruit orchard. As indicated, proliferating C. elegans populations were found in the most decayed fruit (lower at center). Fruits at a lesser stage of decay (left lower and upper) contained only dauers, presumably recently dispersed from proliferative, but overcrowded, habitats. Recently fallen, decomposing fruits are unsuitable habitats for C. elegans, possibly due to depletion of energy sources. [Image source and analysis: Marie-Anne Félix, Institute of Biology of the École Normale Supérieure (IBENS).]
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