CRC 1182 Talk – Prof. Dr. Brendan Bohannan (University of Oregon) – 23.09.2019

Biological Colloquium of the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 3:00 pm

Center for Molecular Biosciences (ZMB)
Seminar room 4th floor
Am Botanischen Garten 11

As guest of the CRC 1182

Prof. Dr. Brendan Bohannan

University of Oregon

Talks about:

Host-Microbiomes as Metacommunities: Ecological and Evolutionary Implications

Background: Humans and other animals are chimeric creatures, covered inside and out with microorganisms. These microbes are collectively known as an individual’s ‘microbiome’, and variation in microbiome composition across individuals has been linked to variation in host health and well-being. There is growing evidence that dispersal among microbiomes is an important driver of this variation. To better understand how dispersal interacts with other factors to determine the composition of host-microbiomes, metacommunity theory has recently been applied to host-microbiomes. Metacommunity theory posits that the dynamics within any local group of interacting species (a community) are governed both by processes that occur within the community and by the process of dispersal which links communities together. The relative strengths of dispersal and within-community dynamics create different patterns of diversity and species composition across space and time. {reference: Miller et al. 2018 TREE}.

Summary: In my talk, I will present evidence for the hypothesis that host-microbiomes act as metacommunities. I will then discuss examples of the ecological implications of this hypothesis. I will focus on the role of the environment external to hosts (the “matrix” in metacommunity theory) as a mediator of dispersal, and how it can shape the ecological traits of host-associated microorganisms. I will end with a discussion of the evolutionary implications of host-microbiomes as metacommunities, including recent theory regarding the conditions necessary for coevolution and how dispersal among host-microbiomes may allow “collective inheritance” of microbiome traits. {reference: Miller & Bohannan 2019 Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution}.

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