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Data from: A phylogenetic perspective on species diversity, β-diversity, and biogeography for the microbial world


Barberán, Albert; Casamayor, Emilio (2014), Data from: A phylogenetic perspective on species diversity, β-diversity, and biogeography for the microbial world, Dryad, Dataset,


There is an increasing interest to combine phylogenetic data with distributional and ecological records to assess how natural communities arrange under an evolutionary perspective. In the microbial world there is also a need to go beyond the problematic species definition to deeply explore ecological patterns using genetic data. We explored links between evolution/phylogeny and community ecology using bacterial 16S rRNA gene information from a high altitude lakes district dataset to describe phylogenetic community composition, spatial distribution, and β-diversity and biogeographical patterns applying evolutionary relatedness without relying on any particular operational taxonomic unit definition. High altitude lakes districts usually contain a large mosaic of highly diverse small water bodies and conform a fine biogeographical model of spatially close but environmentally heterogeneous ecosystems. We sampled eighteen lakes in the Pyrenees with a selection criteria focused on capturing the maximum environmental variation within a small geographical area. The results showed highly diverse communities non-randomly distributed with phylogenetic β-diversity patterns mainly shaped by the environment and not by the spatial distance. Community similarity based on both bacterial taxonomic composition and phylogenetic β-diversity approach shared similar patterns and were primarily structured by similar environmental drivers. We observed a positive relationship between lake area and phylogenetic diversity with a slope consistent with highly dispersive planktonic organisms. The phylogenetic approach incorporated patterns of common ancestry into bacterial community analysis and emerged as a very convenient analytical tool for direct inter- and intrabiome biodiversity comparisons and sorting out microbial habitats with potential application in conservation studies for microorganisms.

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