Smallness of microbes

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The very small size of microbes has an impact on fitness as it affects metabolism, generation time, colonization ability, growth rate.

Small size → relative to cell volume more surface is exposed to the environmentnutrients and waste-products rapidly pass into and out of a cell as transport distances of a metabolite within an organism and between the organism and the surroundings are short. → usually higher cellular metabolic rates and growth rates and larger populations (high numbers of rapidly metabolising cells) relative to other larger cells and multi-cellular organisms. If living conditions are favourable → may cause major physiochemical changes in an ecosystem over a relatively short period of time.

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