Diversity-triggered deterministic bacterial assembly constrains community functions
- Nature Communications
- A growing body of evidence suggests that microbial α-diversity (local species richness) may have positive effects on ecosystem function. However, less attention has been paid to β-diversity (the variation among local microbial assemblages). Here we studied the impact of microbial α-diversity on stochastic/deterministic microbial community assembly processes, which are related to β-diversity, and the consequences for community function. Bacterial communities differing in α-diversity were generated and their structures and potential community functional traits were inferred from DNA sequencing. Phylogenetic null modeling analysis suggests that stochastic assembly processes are dominant in high-diversity communities. However, in low-diversity communities, deterministic assembly processes are dominant, associating with the reduction of specialized functions that are correlated with specific bacterial taxa. Overall, we suggest that the low-diversity-induced deterministic community assembly processes may constrain community functions, highlighting the potential roles of specialized functions in community assembly and in generating and sustaining the function of soil ecosystems.