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Title: Microbial functional diversity: From concepts to applications

Abstract

Functional diversity is increasingly recognized by microbial ecologists as the essential link between biodiversity patterns and ecosystem functioning, determining the trophic relationships and interactions between microorganisms, their participation in biogeochemical cycles, and their responses to environmental changes. Consequently, its definition and quantification have practical and theoretical implications. In this opinion paper, we present a synthesis on the concept of microbial functional diversity from its definition to its application. Initially, we revisit to the original definition of functional diversity, highlighting two fundamental aspects, the ecological unit under study and the functional traits used to characterize it. Then, we discuss how the particularities of the microbial world disallow the direct application of the concepts and tools developed for macroorganisms. Next, we provide a synthesis of the literature on the types of ecological units and functional traits available in microbial functional ecology. We also provide a list of more than 400 traits covering a wide array of environmentally relevant functions. Lastly, we provide examples of the use of functional diversity in microbial systems based on the different units and traits discussed herein. It is our hope that this paper will stimulate discussions and help the growing field of microbial functional ecology to realizemore » a potential that thus far has only been attained in macrobial ecology.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6]
  1. MARBEC CNRS Ifremer IRD University of Montpellier Montpellier Cedex 5 France, Institute for Environmental Genomics and Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology University of Oklahoma Norman OK USA
  2. Water Management Research Unit SJVASC USDA‐ARS Parlier CA USA
  3. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control School of Environment Tsinghua University Beijing China
  4. Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management University of California Berkeley CA USA
  5. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of California Berkeley CA USA
  6. Institute for Environmental Genomics and Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology University of Oklahoma Norman OK USA, State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control School of Environment Tsinghua University Beijing China, Earth and Environmental Sciences Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Berkeley CA USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1568935
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1568938; OSTI ID: 1580942
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02‐05CH11231; AC02-05CH11231; SC0004601; SC0010570; CBET‐1336709; P42ES004705
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Ecology and Evolution
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Ecology and Evolution Journal Volume: 9 Journal Issue: 20; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-7758
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; functional diversity; functional traits; microbial communities; theoretical frameworks of diversity; trait‐based ecology

Citation Formats

Escalas, Arthur, Hale, Lauren, Voordeckers, James W., Yang, Yunfeng, Firestone, Mary K., Alvarez‐Cohen, Lisa, and Zhou, Jizhong. Microbial functional diversity: From concepts to applications. United Kingdom: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1002/ece3.5670.
Escalas, Arthur, Hale, Lauren, Voordeckers, James W., Yang, Yunfeng, Firestone, Mary K., Alvarez‐Cohen, Lisa, & Zhou, Jizhong. Microbial functional diversity: From concepts to applications. United Kingdom. doi:10.1002/ece3.5670.
Escalas, Arthur, Hale, Lauren, Voordeckers, James W., Yang, Yunfeng, Firestone, Mary K., Alvarez‐Cohen, Lisa, and Zhou, Jizhong. Fri . "Microbial functional diversity: From concepts to applications". United Kingdom. doi:10.1002/ece3.5670.
@article{osti_1568935,
title = {Microbial functional diversity: From concepts to applications},
author = {Escalas, Arthur and Hale, Lauren and Voordeckers, James W. and Yang, Yunfeng and Firestone, Mary K. and Alvarez‐Cohen, Lisa and Zhou, Jizhong},
abstractNote = {Functional diversity is increasingly recognized by microbial ecologists as the essential link between biodiversity patterns and ecosystem functioning, determining the trophic relationships and interactions between microorganisms, their participation in biogeochemical cycles, and their responses to environmental changes. Consequently, its definition and quantification have practical and theoretical implications. In this opinion paper, we present a synthesis on the concept of microbial functional diversity from its definition to its application. Initially, we revisit to the original definition of functional diversity, highlighting two fundamental aspects, the ecological unit under study and the functional traits used to characterize it. Then, we discuss how the particularities of the microbial world disallow the direct application of the concepts and tools developed for macroorganisms. Next, we provide a synthesis of the literature on the types of ecological units and functional traits available in microbial functional ecology. We also provide a list of more than 400 traits covering a wide array of environmentally relevant functions. Lastly, we provide examples of the use of functional diversity in microbial systems based on the different units and traits discussed herein. It is our hope that this paper will stimulate discussions and help the growing field of microbial functional ecology to realize a potential that thus far has only been attained in macrobial ecology.},
doi = {10.1002/ece3.5670},
journal = {Ecology and Evolution},
number = 20,
volume = 9,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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DOI: 10.1002/ece3.5670

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