Microbes on mountainsides

Contrasting elevational patterns of bacterial and plant diversity

Jessica A. Bryant, Christine Lamanna, Hélène Morlon, Andrew J. Kerkhoff, Brian Enquist, Jessica L. Green

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The study of elevational diversity gradients dates back to the foundation of biogeography. Although elevational patterns of plant and animal diversity have been studied for centuries, such patterns have not been reported for microorganisms and remain poorly understood. Here, in an effort to assess the generality of elevational diversity patterns, we examined soil bacterial and plant diversity along an elevation gradient. To gain insight into the forces that structure these patterns, we adopted a multifaceted approach to incorporate information about the structure, diversity, and spatial turnover of montane communities in a phylogenetic context. We found that observed patterns of plant and bacterial diversity were fundamentally different. While bacterial taxon richness and phylogenetic diversity decreased monotonically from the lowest to highest elevations, plants followed a unimodal pattern, with a peak in richness and phylogenetic diversity at midelevations. At all elevations bacterial communities had a tendency to be phylogenetically clustered, containing closely related taxa. In contrast, plant communities did not exhibit a uniform phylogenetic structure across the gradient: they became more overdispersed with increasing elevation, containing distantly related taxa. Finally, a metric of phylogenetic beta-diversity showed that bacterial lineages were not randomly distributed, but rather exhibited significant spatial structure across the gradient, whereas plant lineages did not exhibit a significant phylogenetic signal. Quantifying the influence of sample scale in intertaxonomic comparisons remains a challenge. Nevertheless, our findings suggest that the forces structuring microorganism and macroorganism communities along elevational gradients differ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiodiversity and Extinction
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences
Pages127-148
Number of pages22
Volume2
ISBN (Print)0309127432, 9780309127431
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 22 2009

Fingerprint

Microorganisms
microorganisms
phylogeny
Animals
Soils
bacterial communities
plant communities
Soil
biogeography
soil
animals
sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Bryant, J. A., Lamanna, C., Morlon, H., Kerkhoff, A. J., Enquist, B., & Green, J. L. (2009). Microbes on mountainsides: Contrasting elevational patterns of bacterial and plant diversity. In Biodiversity and Extinction (Vol. 2, pp. 127-148). National Academy of Sciences. https://doi.org/10.17226/12501

Microbes on mountainsides : Contrasting elevational patterns of bacterial and plant diversity. / Bryant, Jessica A.; Lamanna, Christine; Morlon, Hélène; Kerkhoff, Andrew J.; Enquist, Brian; Green, Jessica L.

Biodiversity and Extinction. Vol. 2 National Academy of Sciences, 2009. p. 127-148.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Bryant, JA, Lamanna, C, Morlon, H, Kerkhoff, AJ, Enquist, B & Green, JL 2009, Microbes on mountainsides: Contrasting elevational patterns of bacterial and plant diversity. in Biodiversity and Extinction. vol. 2, National Academy of Sciences, pp. 127-148. https://doi.org/10.17226/12501
Bryant JA, Lamanna C, Morlon H, Kerkhoff AJ, Enquist B, Green JL. Microbes on mountainsides: Contrasting elevational patterns of bacterial and plant diversity. In Biodiversity and Extinction. Vol. 2. National Academy of Sciences. 2009. p. 127-148 https://doi.org/10.17226/12501
Bryant, Jessica A. ; Lamanna, Christine ; Morlon, Hélène ; Kerkhoff, Andrew J. ; Enquist, Brian ; Green, Jessica L. / Microbes on mountainsides : Contrasting elevational patterns of bacterial and plant diversity. Biodiversity and Extinction. Vol. 2 National Academy of Sciences, 2009. pp. 127-148
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