Essay the role of ecological theory in microbial ecology

Environmental Microbiology The vast explosion of high-resolution molecular data in the past few years has provided an unprecedented glimpse into the microbial world.

Essay the role of ecological theory in microbial ecology

The application of molecular techniques has demonstrated the need for discovery research, but in our view this can only be exploited if it is directed by insights gained from the application of theory.

Commonly cited differences include the small size of microorganisms, high rates of population growth, high rates and extent of dispersal, the vast abundance of microorganisms, and the unique aspects of their biology such as parasexuality or extremely hardy resting stages.

However, the breadth of distribution of many of these traits among microorganisms in nature is not known.

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Furthermore, the existence of these traits does not necessarily prevent the application of existing ecological theory to microorganisms see later discussion of spores and seed banks.

Also, the relatively large scales of time and space over which most microorganisms are studied does not necessarily preclude the application of existing theory; theory related to the subdis- cipline of ecology called developed specifically to further the under- standing of ecology on large scales of space and time see below.

The challenge facing microbial ecologists, and indeed all ecolo- gists, is to match the appropriate theoretical approach to the organism, system, scale and question of interest. Microbial model systems have played an important, although often underappreci- ated, part in the development of existing ecological theory reviewed in demonstrating its general applicability to microorganisms.

However, it is less common for existing theory to be applied to micro- organisms in nature despite the fact that this would be valuable.

It would be extraordinar- ily inefficient to attempt to reinvent existing theory for application to microorganisms.

Furthermore, the application of existing theory would afford ecologists the opportu- nity to test the true generality of ecological principles and to create a synthetic ecology that spans all organisms.

This would greatly increase our understanding of ecological systems and allow the much more effective management of the natural world. In the following sections we discuss examples of areas of ecological theory that might be particularly valuable in microbial ecology. In doing this, we attempt to deter- mine whether the particular characteristics of microorganisms present difficulties in applying ecological theory that has been developed for plants and higher animals.

Essay the role of ecological theory in microbial ecology

We consider whether and where new theory might be required for microorganisms to enhance or replace established ecological theory. We also identify conceptual and practical challenges faced by microbial ecologists in applying quantitative ecological theory.

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Most ecological theory depends on a con- cept of species: Species are most commonly defined through the biological species concept promoted by Mayr 4 a genetic definition that envisages a species as a group of interbreeding individuals that is isolated from other such groups by bar- riers to recombination.

If genetic exchange within a species is sufficiently extensive, and that between species is sufficiently low, species will be relatively homogeneous in themselves and ecologically distinct from other species.

Unfortunately, prokaryotes and some eukaryotes are asexual, thereby violating these assumptions, and do not form species in this genetic way.

An alternative, the ecological species concept, defines a species as a set of individuals that can be considered to be identical in all relevant ecological properties.These papers have been widely accessed and are directly applicable to the development of policy, and the microbiome plays a key role in the control and competence of insect crop pests and vectors of disease The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology.

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Population ecology and neoinstitutional theory looks at UCSB in divergent perspectives: population ecology looks at UCSB as a living or dying species whereas neoinstitutional theory highlights UCSB’s importance as an establishment to its field of education.

ecological theory in microbial ecology - bacteria and archaea have an essential role in earth system processes. they are ubiquitous, possess enormous metabolic and physiological versatility and are essential tothe roles of women - edteck - the roles of women grade 4 the following.

Combining ecological network analysis and food-web theory with biodiversity–ecosystem functioning research to detect correlative patterns in soil communities and ecosystem functions may help to elucidate these complex processes.

For example, improved quantitative theory The role of ecological theory could increase the efficiency of wastewater treatment processes, through the predic- in microbial ecology tion of optimal operating conditions and conditions that are likely to result in system failure.

Combining ecological network analysis and food-web theory with biodiversity–ecosystem functioning research to detect correlative patterns in soil communities and ecosystem functions may help to elucidate these complex processes.

Microbial Ecological Theory: Current Perspectives