Title
Interchange of entire communities : microbial community coalescence Interchange of entire communities : microbial community coalescence
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Chemistry
Biology
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Trends in ecology & evolution
Volume/pages
30(2015) :8 , p. 470-476
ISSN
0169-5347
ISI
000359328700008
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Microbial communities are enigmatically diverse. We propose a novel view of processes likely affecting microbial assemblages, which could be viewed as the Great American Interchange en miniature: the wholesale exchange among microbial communities resulting from moving pieces of the environment containing entire assemblages. Incidental evidence for such 'community coalescence' is accumulating, but such processes are rarely studied, likely because of the absence of suitable terminology or a conceptual framework. We provide the nucleus for such a conceptual foundation for the study of community coalescence, examining factors shaping these events, links to bodies of ecological theory, and we suggest modeling approaches for understanding coalescent communities. We argue for the systematic study of community coalescence because of important functional and applied consequences.
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