Publication

Both species sorting and neutral processes drive assembly of bacterial communities in aquatic microcosms

Lee, J. E., Buckley, H. L., Etienne, R. S. & Lear, G., Nov-2013, In : FEMS Microbial Ecology. 86, 2, p. 288-302 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

A focus of ecology is to determine drivers of community assembly. Here, we investigate effects of immigration and species sorting (environmental selection) on structuring aquatic bacterial communities in both colonised and previously uncolonised environments. We used nonsterilised and presterilised water from three chemically distinct ponds to establish microcosms, which were opened for 12, 24, 48, 96 or 167h and then closed again to allow airborne bacterial immigration and subsequent succession. Community similarity, richness, evenness and the parameters of a neutral model were investigated after 167h. Immigration appeared to govern the assembly of communities in the presterilised water as there were no significant differences in evenness among microcosm communities containing water from each pond. Statistical estimation of neutral model parameters confirmed these findings, because the estimated immigration rate changed significantly with time of exposure to immigration. Species sorting also occurred because significant differences in community similarity (for presterilised and nonsterilised communities) and evenness (only for nonsterilised communities) were detected among microcosms containing different pond water; the magnitude of these differences was greater for communities in nonsterilised microcosms. Our study provides evidence for both processes being important during the colonisation of aquatic environments and presents a novel way to apply the neutral model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-302
Number of pages15
JournalFEMS Microbial Ecology
Volume86
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2013

    Keywords

  • microcosms, niche theory, Gini coefficient, neutral theory, stochastic immigration, species sorting, INTERGENIC SPACER ANALYSIS, MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES, FRESH-WATER, DISPERSAL-LIMITATION, MULTIPLE SAMPLES, DISTANCE-DECAY, RIBOSOMAL-RNA, DESERT DUST, BIODIVERSITY, SOIL

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