Microbial biogeography: From taxonomy to traits

Jessica L. Green, Brendan J.M. Bohannan, Rachel J. Whitaker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The biogeographic variation of life has predominantly been studied using taxonomy, but this focus is changing. There is a resurging interest in understanding patterns in the distribution not only of taxa but also of the traits those taxa possess. Patterns of trait variation shed light on fundamental questions in biology, including why organisms live where they do and how they will respond to environmental change. Technological advances such as environmental genomics place microbial ecology in a unique position to move trait-based biogeography forward. We anticipate that as trait-based biogeography continues to evolve, micro- and macroorganisms will be studied in concert, establishing a science that is informed by and relevant to all domains of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1043
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume320
Issue number5879
DOIs
StatePublished - May 23 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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