Microbial diversity–productivity relationships in aquatic ecosystems


  • Editor: Ian Head

Correspondence: Val H. Smith, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66047, USA. Tel.: +01 785 864 4565; fax: +01 785 864 5321; e-mail: vsmith@ku.edu


Thanks to recent advances in molecular biology, one's knowledge of microbial co-occurrence patterns, microbial biogeography and microbial biodiversity is expanding rapidly. This MiniReview explores microbial diversity–productivity relationships in the light of what is known from the general ecology literature. Analyses of microbial diversity–productivity relationships from 70 natural, experimental, and engineered aquatic ecosystems reveal patterns that are strikingly similar to those that have long been documented for communities of macroorganisms. Microbial ecology and the general science of ecology are thus continuing to converge.