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Nat Ecol Evol. 2019 Mar;3(3):381-389. doi: 10.1038/s41559-019-0798-1. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Community richness of amphibian skin bacteria correlates with bioclimate at the global scale.

Author information

1
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Republic of Panama.
2
Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA, USA.
3
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA.
4
Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA.
5
Earth Lab, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA.
6
Center for Research in Microscopic Structures, University of Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica.
7
School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.
8
Department of Biology and Chemistry, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, USA.
9
Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA.
10
CIBIO, Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Universidade do Porto, Vairao, Portugal.
11
Department of Genome Analytics, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany.
12
Departamento de Zoologia e Centro de Aquicultura, I.B., UNESP, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil.
13
Department of Biology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, USA.
14
Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA.
15
Department of Biology, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA.
16
Department of Biology, Tufts University, Medford, MA, USA.
17
Biology Department, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD, USA.
18
Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, and Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.
19
Department of Bio-Science, Nagahama Institute of Bio-Science and Technology, Nagahama, Japan.
20
Amphibian Research Center, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan.
21
Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.
22
Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
23
Department of Zoology and Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
24
Conservation and Science, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland, OH, USA.
25
Institute of Marine and Limnological Sciences, Sciences Faculty, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile.
26
School of Marine Sciences, Ruppin Academic Center, Mikhmoret, Israel.
27
Biochemistry Department, School of Medicine; Center for Research in Cell and Molecular Biology and Center for Research in Microscopic Structures, University of Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica.
28
Department of Animal Biology, University of Antananarivo, Antananarivo, Madagascar.
29
Centro de Ciencias Genómicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cuernavaca, Mexico.
30
Institute of Zoology, Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany.
31
Thünen Institute of Biodiversity, Braunschweig, Germany.
32
Department of Integrative Biology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA.
33
Department of Biology, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA, USA.
34
Conservation and Research Department, Zoo Miami, Miami, FL, USA.
35
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
36
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Republic of Panama. douglas.woodhams@umb.edu.
37
Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA, USA. douglas.woodhams@umb.edu.
38
Zoologisches Institut, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany. m.vences@tu-braunschweig.de.

Abstract

Animal-associated microbiomes are integral to host health, yet key biotic and abiotic factors that shape host-associated microbial communities at the global scale remain poorly understood. We investigated global patterns in amphibian skin bacterial communities, incorporating samples from 2,349 individuals representing 205 amphibian species across a broad biogeographic range. We analysed how biotic and abiotic factors correlate with skin microbial communities using multiple statistical approaches. Global amphibian skin bacterial richness was consistently correlated with temperature-associated factors. We found more diverse skin microbiomes in environments with colder winters and less stable thermal conditions compared with environments with warm winters and less annual temperature variation. We used bioinformatically predicted bacterial growth rates, dormancy genes and antibiotic synthesis genes, as well as inferred bacterial thermal growth optima to propose mechanistic hypotheses that may explain the observed patterns. We conclude that temporal and spatial characteristics of the host's macro-environment mediate microbial diversity.

Comment in

PMID:
30778181
DOI:
10.1038/s41559-019-0798-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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