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Microbial diversity and ecological networks as indicators of environmental quality

Abstract : Evaluating the quality of ecosystems in terms of biological patrimony and functioning is of critical importance in the actual context of intensified human activities. Microbial diversity is commonly used as a bioindicator of ecosystems functioning. However, there is a lack of sensitivity of microbial diversity indicators in the case of moderate and chronic environmental degradation, such as atmospheric deposition of pollutants, agricultural practices, diffuse pollution by wastewater and climate change. As a consequence, there is a need for alternative bioindicators of soils and water quality. Here, we discuss the interest of adopting a more integrative approach based on biotic interaction networks beyond the simple diversity indicators. We review how the various biotic interactions can be integrated in the various microbial networks such as trophic, mutualistic and co-occurrence networks. Then we discuss the efficiency of microbial networks and associated metrics to detect changes in microbial communities. We conclude that the connectance, the number of links and the average degree of co-occurrence networks could vary from 10 to 50% in response to minor perturbations when microbial diversity parameters remain stable. Finally, we analyze studies that aimed at linking microbial networks and activity to evaluate the potential of such networks for providing simple and operational indicators of ecosystem quality and functioning.
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Contributor : Daniel Gilbert Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 2:52:52 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 11:58:06 AM



Battle Karimi, Pierre-Alain Maron, Nicolas Chemidlin Prévost-Bouré, Nadine Bernard, Daniel Gilbert, et al.. Microbial diversity and ecological networks as indicators of environmental quality. Environmental Chemistry Letters, Springer Verlag, 2017, 15 (2), pp.265-281. ⟨10.1007/s10311-017-0614-6⟩. ⟨hal-01516976⟩



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