Patterns and Processes Underpinning the Commonness and Rarity of Microbial Taxa

Start time: 16:00 / End time: 17:00 / Date: 23 Oct 2018 / Venue: Lecture Theatre 1 Life Sciences Building

Open to: Students in host dept/school/institute/centre / Staff in host dept/school/institute/centre / Students from same Faculty as host dept/school/institute/centre / Staff from same Faculty as host dept/school/institute/centre / Students within this Faculty / Staff within this Faculty / Specific UOL Students (for details see 'Suitable For') / Specific UOL Staff (for details see 'Suitable For')

Type: Seminar

Cost: Free

Contact: For more information contact Alan McCarthy at aj55m@liverpool.ac.uk


About the event

Speaker: Chris Van der Gast (Manchester Metropolitan University)

The commonness and rarity of species is fundamental to understanding mechanisms that regulate animal and plant biodiversity. The repeated observation that the majority of species are rare while the common are in the minority is recognised as one of the oldest laws in ecology, prompting the development of species abundance models. Here we tested the generality of this law using different microbial groups sampled from across spatially separated grassland soils. We demonstrated that a continuum of commonness and rarity exists across local communities within spatially separated metacommunities of phylogenetic and physiologically distinct microorganisms. The deterministic ecological process of homogenising dispersal predominates in driving spatial distribution of the common taxa, while the stochastic process of drift underpins the rare taxa. The results uncover a generalized law of biodiversity that span animals, plants, and now microorganisms, adding strong support to an inclusive ecology.

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