Data from: Deterministic processes vary during community assembly for ecologically dissimilar taxa
Powell, Jeff R. et al. (2016), Data from: Deterministic processes vary during community assembly for ecologically dissimilar taxa, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.r3sh7
The continuum hypothesis states that both deterministic and stochastic processes contribute to the assembly of ecological communities. However, the contextual dependency of these processes remains an open question that imposes strong limitations on predictions of community responses to environmental change. Here we measure community and habitat turnover across multiple vertical soil horizons at 183 sites across Scotland for bacteria and fungi, both dominant and functionally vital components of all soils but which differ substantially in their growth habit and dispersal capability. We find that habitat turnover is the primary driver of bacterial community turnover in general, although its importance decreases with increasing isolation and disturbance. Fungal communities, however, exhibit a highly stochastic assembly process, both neutral and non-neutral in nature, largely independent of disturbance. These findings suggest that increased focus on dispersal limitation and biotic interactions are necessary to manage and conserve the key ecosystem services provided by these assemblages.