Biodiversity and Microbial Ecosystems Functioning

  • Philippe Normand
  • Robert Duran
  • Xavier Le Roux
  • Cindy Morris
  • Jean-Christophe Poggiale


All ecosystems are composed of multiple species performing numerous functions. This plurality identified as biodiversity has become a research topic of general importance for understanding how ecosystems function. The word “biodiversity” has subsequently received different interpretations we aim to describe. Microbial systems can be used to illustrate these definitions and to clarify paradigms that have emerged in general ecology. Microbial biodiversity can be characterized by the kind of biodiversity (taxa or functional groups present), the representativeness of samples, and the culturability of samples or taxa, in terms of genetic, functional, or physiological characteristics. Biodiversity is a major driver of ecosystem functioning, and this relation is described in the case of several biotopes. Several mathematical approaches have been used to quantify microbial diversity, and the various indices are described and discussed.


Alpha diversity Beta diversity Biodiversity Canonical correspondence analysis Chimeras Cluster analysis Community structure Cultural approach Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) Diversity indices DNA arrays DNA reassociation Fingerprints Functional groups Identification Linkage disequilibrium analysis Lipids Metabolic capacities of communities Metabolites Microbial communities Multivariate analysis Nei index Nonparametric test OTU (operational taxonomic unit) Parametric test Phylotype Pigment Principal component analysis Rarefaction curve Ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA) Richness Saturation analysis Shannon alpha diversity index Simpson index Single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) Spearman correlation tests Species richness index Temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE) Terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) Variables 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe Normand
    • 1
  • Robert Duran
    • 2
  • Xavier Le Roux
    • 1
  • Cindy Morris
    • 3
  • Jean-Christophe Poggiale
    • 4
  1. 1.Microbial Ecology CenterUMR CNRS 5557 / USC INRA 1364, Université Lyon 1VilleurbanneFrance
  2. 2.Institut des Sciences Analytiques et de Physico-chimie pour l’Environnement et les Matériaux (IPREM)UMR CNRS 5254, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’AdourPau CedexFrance
  3. 3.Unité de Recherches de Pathologie VégétaleINRA, Domaine St-MauriceMontfavet CedexFrance
  4. 4.Institut Méditerranéen d’Océanologie (MIO)UM 110, CNRS 7294 IRD 235, Université de Toulon, Aix-Marseille UniversitéMarseille Cedex 9France

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