Environmental Microbiology The vast explosion of high-resolution molecular data in the past few years has provided an unprecedented glimpse into the microbial world. This book synthesises current viewpoints and knowledge on microbial ecological theory.
Stein, University of Alberta, Canada Reviewed by: The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author s or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.
No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Our planet is experiencing rates of environmental change unprecedented in modern times, and an understanding of how microbes both mediate and respond to these shifts is an important research challenge De Vries and Shade, Because of the temporal and spatial scales over which microbes function as well as their extreme diversity, dynamics in microbial structure and processes are typically examined at the community level.
However, the factors that drive patterns in microbial structure and function, and the links between them, remain widely debated Prosser et al.
In this issue, such patterns in microbial communities are further documented for soils, lakes, streams and ocean provinces Arnosti et al. Additionally, the importance of spatial and temporal dynamics Armitage et al. Yet, a central but unanswered question is: Importantly, the distribution of traits within a community may affect the relationship between structure and function Webb et al.
Thus, as highlighted in this issue by Comte et al. Indeed, Shade et al. Folse and Allison used a multi-nutrient, multi-genotype model of enzyme activity, and showed that trait distributions could yield insight into the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem function.
They found that generalists dominated at low levels of community diversity when rates of enzyme production and enzyme diffusion were lowest. Their results were somewhat different from Folse and Allisonas they found that community diversity was positively related to productivity and that generalists were more productive and less variable over time.
Their work also showed that there did not appear to be a fitness trade-off associated with generalization. They showed that plasticity appeared to be an intrinsic community property while redundancy was affected by external environmental factors.
Their work also revealed strong relationships between community plasticity and redundancy, with no evidence for trade-offs and a possible co-selection of these attributes.
As well, species-species interactions can affect the relationship between communities and processes. They also found that the presence of cheaters could affect the relationship between biodiversity and function.
He used a consumer-resource model to demonstrate that, at medium levels of niche overlap, outcomes of competition can be unpredictable, decoupling relationships between abundance and adaptation. Evolutionary dynamics can also alter relationships between structure and function.
In a Perspectives Article, Choudoir et al. Indeed, Salles et al. They proposed that this suggests strong selection on the types of taxa that can inhabit this extreme environment combined with high rates of diversification within those lineages. Related, Knope et al. They showed that prior exposure to an environmental challenge led to higher rates of diversification.
These studies suggest that understanding the coupling of ecological and evolutionary processes is key for interpreting microbial community patterns of structure and function. They hypothesized that the relative importance of stochastic vs. In their comment on the Pholchan manuscript, Knelman and Nemergut provide a conceptual framework illustrating how assembly, biodiversity and function may be related.
Together, these studies provide growing evidence for the importance of assembly processes in determining microbial community properties. Physical dynamics may also be key in regulating the relationship between structure and function. Schimel and Schaeffer propose a conceptual framework that highlights a requirement that biological processes need to be rate limiting or fate determining in order for community structure to matter for ecosystem function.
For example, they propose that structure is not likely to be relevant for organic matter breakdown in mineral soils, where diffusion is limited and organic particles may be occluded or sorbed to soil surfaces.
Likewise, Folse and Allison demonstrate that rates of diffusion of enzymes can affect community diversity and the relative proportion of generalists to specialists. Their work also showed high rates of diffusion coupled to high rates of production can lead to community bottlenecks and increases in stochasticity.
As well, King et al. They found that associations between plants and microbial community composition were less pronounced at higher elevations, likely due to an increase in the influence of physical harshness on community composition.
This body of work emphasizes the importance of emergent, aggregate community properties and the role of community dynamics in variations in the strength of the structure-function relationships.Population ecology and neoinstitutional theory looks at UCSB in divergent perspectives: population ecology looks at UCSB as a living or dying species whereas neoinstitutional theory highlights UCSB’s importance as an establishment to its field of education.
The role of soil organisms in ecosystem functioning has been long recognized and it is well known that soil biota are of pivotal importance for nutrient and carbon Essay - The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology.
Nat. Rev. Microbiol. ; 5: The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. The role of soil organisms in ecosystem functioning has been long recognized and it is well known that soil biota are of pivotal importance for nutrient and carbon Essay - The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology.
Nat. Rev. Microbiol. ; 5: The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. Many microbial ecologists have described the composition of microbial communities in a plenitude of environments, which has greatly improved our basic understanding of microorganisms and ecosystems.
Synthetic microbial ecology for theory testing. Essay – the role of ecological theory in microbial ecology. Sep 26, · Trait-based approaches can provide mechanistic links between community structure and function, and are gaining popularity in microbial ecology (Krause et al., ). Importantly, the distribution of traits within a community may affect the relationship .
antibiotic resistance: the role of ecology Benjamin J Koch1,2*, Bruce A Hungate1,2, Combined with ecological theory, this knowledge has the potential to transform The role of ecolog-ical theory in microbial ecology.
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