Biological evolution

Event Date: 
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 18:00 - 18:15
Macquarie University

Aquifer microbial community assembly: do neutral processes dominate?


Community assembly processes can be condensed into four categories: dispersal, selection, drift and speciation. We tested aquifer communities (of Archaea, Bacteria, Fungi, and Eukarya generally) for evidence that dispersal limitation and environmental selection play a role in determining community biodiversity and composition. We found only weak evidence for these processes at a regional scale of up to 250 km and spanning several significant dispersal barriers. I discuss the possibility that neutral (i.e. non-deterministic, non-selective) processes dominate in groundwater ecosystems, and the spatial scaling of these processes.


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