Microbial Biodiversity in Natural Biofilms
from: Aquatic Biofilms: Ecology, Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment (Edited by: Anna M. Romaní, Helena Guasch and M. Dolors Balaguer). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2016) Pages: 63-88.
Natural biofilms in aquatic ecosystems exist as complex and dynamic communities, which harbour a considerable microbial biodiversity, typically dominated by Alpha-, Beta- and Gamma-Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Cyanobacteria. A number of publications have highlighted the importance of biofilm biodiversity for ecosystem processes in a range of ecosystems. The aim of this chapter is to give an overview of different aspects of microbial diversity in natural biofilms, including local diversity (alpha-diversity), among-patch diversity (beta-diversity), taxonomic and functional diversity. While its major focus lies on biofilms in the benthic and hyporheic zone of streams and rivers, this chapter also includes examples from lake, tidal and marine sediments, and biofilms associated with suspended aggregates. The local and regional processes that have been proposed to sustain or constrain biofilm biodiversity and community assembly, such as environmental heterogeneity, biotic interactions and dispersal dynamics are reviewed. Finally, this chapter considers the relationship between taxonomic diversity, functional diversity and ecosystem processes read more ...