Integration of Ecology and Environmental Metagenomics Conceptual and Methodological Frameworks
from: Metagenomics: Current Advances and Emerging Concepts (Edited by: Diana Marco). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2017) Pages: 1-16.
Although from its origin metagenomics was concerned with composition of communities of microbial OTUs (Operational Taxonomic Units) living in a given habitat and their diversity and functional heterogeneity (concepts already well rooted in ecology), the new field was more 'environmentally' than 'ecologically' oriented. Probably by circumstantial reasons, metagenomics and ecology followed rather independent trajectories and conceptual and methodological gaps appeared. Recently, calls for the need of integrating the theoretical basis and methodologies coming from metagenomics (and other meta-omics) and ecology have been made. Here I will address some of the principles and methods of field ecology that, although useful in the context of environmental metagenomic studies, have been rather disregarded. In particular, I will emphasize the contribution of some well established concepts and methods of field ecology to a an appropriate field sampling and experimental design of environmental metagenomic studies read more ...