Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Microbiol. 2007 May;5(5):384-92.

The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology.

Author information

1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UU, Scotland, UK. j.prosser@abdn.ac.uk

Abstract

Microbial ecology is currently undergoing a revolution, with repercussions spreading throughout microbiology, ecology and ecosystem science. The rapid accumulation of molecular data is uncovering vast diversity, abundant uncultivated microbial groups and novel microbial functions. This accumulation of data requires the application of theory to provide organization, structure, mechanistic insight and, ultimately, predictive power that is of practical value, but the application of theory in microbial ecology is currently very limited. Here we argue that the full potential of the ongoing revolution will not be realized if research is not directed and driven by theory, and that the generality of established ecological theory must be tested using microbial systems.

PMID:
17435792
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro1643
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center