Functional diversity and redundancy across fish gut, sediment, and water bacterial communities.

PubMed ID: 28618142


Escalas A, Troussellier M, Tong Y, Bouvier T, Bouvier C, Mouchet MA, Flores Hernandez D, Ramos Miranda J, Zhou J, Mouillot D

Environ Microbiol. Jun 2017. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13822

This paper explores the functional diversity and redundancy in a bacterial metacommunity constituted of three habitats (sediment, water column and fish gut) in a coastal lagoon under anthropogenic pressure. We used comprehensive functional gene arrays covering a wide range of ecological processes and stress resistance genes to estimate the functional potential of bacterial communities. Then, we used diversity partitioning to characterize functional diversity and redundancy within (α), between (β) and across (γ) habitats. We showed that all local communities exhibit a highly diversified potential for the realization of key ecological processes and resistance to various environmental conditions, supporting the growing evidence that macroorganisms microbiomes harbor a high functional potential and are integral components of functional gene dynamics in aquatic bacterial metacommunities. We observed several levels of functional redundancy at different scales of the bacterial metacommunity (within local communities, within habitats and at the metacommunity level). Our results suggest a high potential for the realization of spatial ecological insurance within this ecosystem, i.e. the functional compensation among microorganisms for the realization and maintenance of key ecological processes, within and across habitats. Finally, we discuss the role of macroorganisms as dispersal vectors of microbes and their potential influence on marine metacommunity dynamics. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.