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The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology

Prosser, James I; Bohannan, Brendan J.M.; Curtis, Tom P.; Ellis, Richard J.; Firestone, Mary K.; Freckleton, Rob P.; Green, Jessica L.; Green, Laura E.; Killham, Ken; Lennon, Jack J.; Osborn, A. Mark; Solan, Martin; van der Gast, Christopher J; Young, J. Peter W.. 2007 The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 5 (5). 384-392. 10.1038/nrmicro1643

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Abstract/Summary

Microbial ecology is currently undergoing a revolution, with repercussions spreading throughout microbiology, ecology and ecosystem science. The rapid accumulation of molecular data is uncovering vast diversity, abundant uncultivated microbial groups and novel microbial functions. This accumulation of data requires the application of theory to provide organization, structure, mechanistic insight and, ultimately, predictive power that is of practical value, but the application of theory in microbial ecology is currently very limited. Here we argue that the full potential of the ongoing revolution will not be realized if research is not directed and driven by theory, and that the generality of established ecological theory must be tested using microbial systems.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1038/nrmicro1643
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biodiversity
CEH Sections: Hails
ISSN: 1740-1526
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 13 Dec 2007 11:44
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/1604

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