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Jonathan A. Cray, Andrew N. W. Bell, Prashanth Bhaganna, Allen Y. Mswaka, David J. Timson and John E. Hallsworth The biology of habitat dominance; can microbes behave as weeds? Microbial Biotechnology 6

Version of Record online: 22 JAN 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1751-7915.12027

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This article explores the ecology, and cellular and molecular traits, of a select number of microbial species that consistently dominate their respective habitats. We suggest that these ‘microbial weeds’ have key features in common with plant weeds, and are conceptually distinct from other groupings of microorganisms such as generalists, specialists, copiotrophs, oligotrophs, r-strategists, K-strategists, etc. Microbial weed species are most likely to emerge in open habitats; we describe and give examples of such habitats and discuss environmental and applied implications of weed biology and open-habitat ecology as well as further work needed in these areas.

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