Rules and patterns of microbial community assembly

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dc.contributor.author Brown, Shawn Paul en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2014-09-16T16:31:29Z
dc.date.available 2014-09-16T16:31:29Z
dc.date.issued 2014-09-16
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/18324
dc.description.abstract Microorganisms are critically important for establishing and maintaining ecosystem properties and processes that fuel and sustain higher-trophic levels. Despite the universal importance of microbes, we know relatively little about the rules and processes that dictate how microbial communities establish and assemble. Largely, we rely on assumptions that microbial community establishment follow similar trajectories as plants, but on a smaller scale. However, these assumptions have been rarely validated and when validation has been attempted, the plant-based theoretical models apply poorly to microbial communities. Here, I utilized genomics-inspired tools to interrogate microbial communities at levels near community saturation to elucidate the rules and patterns of microbial community assembly. I relied on a community filtering model as a framework: potential members of the microbial community are filtered through environmental and/or biotic filters that control which taxa can establish, persist, and coexist. Additionally, I addressed whether two different microbial groups (fungi and bacteria) share similar assembly patterns. Similar dispersal capabilities and mechanisms are thought to result in similar community assembly rules for fungi and bacteria. I queried fungal and bacterial communities along a deglaciated primary successional chronosequence to determine microbial successional dynamics and to determine if fungal and bacterial assemblies are similar or follow trajectories similar to plants. These experiments demonstrate that not only do microbial community assembly dynamics not follow plant-based models of succession, but also that fungal and bacterial community assembly dynamics are distinct. We can no longer assume that because fungi and bacteria share small propagule sizes they follow similar trends. Further, additional studies targeting biotic filters (here, snow algae) suggest strong controls during community assembly, possibly because of fungal predation of the algae or because of fungal utilization of algal exudates. Finally, I examined various technical aspects of sequence-based ecological investigations. These studies aimed to improve microbial community data reliability and analyses. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Fungi en_US
dc.subject Bacteria en_US
dc.subject Community Assembly en_US
dc.subject Next-Generaion Sequencing en_US
dc.subject Bioinformatics en_US
dc.title Rules and patterns of microbial community assembly en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department Division of Biology en_US
dc.description.advisor Ari M. Jumpponen en_US
dc.subject.umi Bioinformatics (0715) en_US
dc.subject.umi Ecology (0329) en_US
dc.subject.umi Microbiology (0410) en_US
dc.date.published 2014 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth December en_US


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