INSTITUTO TECNOLOGICO DE CHASCOMUS
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Environmental heterogeneity determines the ecological processes that govern bacterial metacommunity assembly in a floodplain river system
HUBER, PAULA; MAYORA, GISELA; UNREIN, FERNANDO; DEVERCELLI, MELINA; METZ, SEBASTIAN; SARMENTO, HUGO
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2020 vol. 14 p. 2951 - 2966
How diversity is structured has been a central goal of microbial ecology. In freshwater ecosystems, selection has been found to be the main driver shaping bacterial communities. However, its relative importance compared with other processes (dispersal, drift, diversification) may depend on spatial heterogeneity and the dispersal rates within a metacommunity. Still, a decrease in the role of selection is expected with increasing dispersal homogenization. Here, we investigate the main ecological processes modulating bacterial assembly in contrasting scenarios of environmental heterogeneity. We carried out a spatiotemporal survey in the floodplain system of the Paraná River. The bacterioplankton metacommunity was studied using both statistical inferences based on phylogenetic and taxa turnover as well as co-occurrence networks. We found that selection was the main process determining community assembly even at both extremes of environmental heterogeneity and homogeneity, challenging the general view that the strength of selection is weakened due to dispersal homogenization. The ecological processes acting on the community also determined the connectedness of bacterial networks associations. Heterogeneous selection promoted more interconnected networks increasing β-diversity. Finally, spatiotemporal heterogeneity was an important factor determining the number and identity of the most highly connected taxa in the system. Integrating all these empirical evidences, we propose a new conceptual model that elucidates how the environmental heterogeneity determines the action of the ecological processes shaping the bacterial metacommunity.