Microbial community structure and its functional implications

Nature. 2009 May 14;459(7244):193-9. doi: 10.1038/nature08058.


Marine microbial communities are engines of globally important processes, such as the marine carbon, nitrogen and sulphur cycles. Recent data on the structures of these communities show that they adhere to universal biological rules. Co-occurrence patterns can help define species identities, and systems-biology tools are revealing networks of interacting microorganisms. Some microbial systems are found to change predictably, helping us to anticipate how microbial communities and their activities will shift in a changing world.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ecosystem*
  • Genomics / methods
  • Genomics / trends
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Marine Biology*
  • Water Microbiology*