Contrasting community assembly processes structure lotic bacteria metacommunities along the river continuum

Gweon, Hyun S. ORCID:; Bowes, Michael J. ORCID:; Moorhouse, Heather L.; Oliver, Anna E.; Bailey, Mark J.; Acreman, Michael C.; Read, Daniel S. ORCID: 2021 Contrasting community assembly processes structure lotic bacteria metacommunities along the river continuum. Environmental Microbiology, 23 (1). 484-498.

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The heterogeneous nature of lotic habitats plays an important role in the complex ecological and evolutionary processes that structure the microbial communities within them. Due to such complexity, our understanding of lotic microbial ecology still lacks conceptual frameworks for the ecological processes that shape these communities. We explored how bacterial community composition and underlying ecological assembly processes differ between lotic habitats by examining community composition and inferring community assembly processes across four major habitat types (free‐living, particle‐associated, biofilm on benthic stones and rocks, and sediment). This was conducted at 12 river sites from headwater streams to the main river in the River Thames, UK. Our results indicate that there are distinct differences in the bacterial communities between four major habitat types, with contrasting ecological processes shaping their community assembly processes. While the mobile free‐living and particle‐associated communities were consistently less diverse than the fixed sediment and biofilm communities, the latter two communities displayed higher homogeneity across the sampling sites. This indicates that the relative influence of deterministic environmental filtering is elevated in sediment and biofilm communities compared with free‐living and particle‐associated communities, where stochastic processes play a larger role.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
Water Resources (Science Area 2017-)
Directors, SCs
UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 1462-2912
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 27 Dec 2020 12:06 +0 (UTC)

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