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High taxonomic variability despite stable functional structure across microbial communities [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : biogeography, metagenomics, microbial ecology

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Understanding the processes that are driving variation of natural microbial communities across space or time is a major challenge for ecologists. Environmental conditions strongly shape the metabolic function of microbial communities ; however, other processes such as biotic interactions, random demographic drift or dispersal limitation may also influence community dynamics. The relative importance of these processes and their effects on community function remain largely unknown. To address this uncertainty, here we examined bacterial and archaeal communities in replicate ‘miniature’ aquatic ecosystems contained within the foliage of wild bromeliads. We used marker gene sequencing to infer the taxonomic composition within nine metabolic functional groups, and shotgun environmental DNA sequencing to estimate the relative abundances of these groups.(...)

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