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Microbial mass movements

For several billion years, microorganisms and the genes they carry have mainly been moved by physical forces such as air and water currents. These forces generated biogeographic patterns for microorganisms that are similar to those of animals and plants ( 1 ). In the past 100 years, humans have changed these dynamics by transporting large numbers of cells to new locations through waste disposal, tourism, and global transport and by modifying selection pressures at those locations. As a consequence, we are in the midst of a substantial alteration to microbial biogeography. This has the potential to change ecosystem services and biogeochemistry in unpredictable ways.

Authors:   Yong-Guan Zhu; Michael Gillings; Pascal Simonet; Dov Stekel; Steve Banwart; Josep Penuelas
Journal:   Science
Volume:   357
edition:   6356
Year:   2017
Pages:   1099
DOI:   10.1126/science.aao3007
Publication date:   15-Sep-2017
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • plants
  • microorganisms
  • genes
  • cells
  • animals
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