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Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning
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2014 (English)In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 5, 251- p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEE) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEE of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEE using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEE studies are often inadequate to unravel BEE relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEE relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 5, 251- p.
Keyword [en]
functional traits, ecosystem function, ecological theory, study designs, microbial diversity
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-228431DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00251ISI: 000336663500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-228431DiVA: diva2:734141
Available from: 2014-07-15 Created: 2014-07-14 Last updated: 2014-07-15Bibliographically approved

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Bertilsson, Stefan
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LimnologyScience for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab
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