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Title (Primary) A critical evaluation of ecological indices for the comparative analysis of microbial communities based on molecular datasets
Author Lucas, R.; Groeneveld, J.; Harms, H.; Johst, K.; Frank, K.; Kleinsteuber, S.;
Journal FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Year 2017
Department OESA; UMB; iDiv;
Volume 93
Issue 1
Language englisch;
POF III (all) R31; T15; T11;
Keywords diversity concept; effective numbers, evenness; T-RFLP; next-generation sequencing; anaerobic digestion
UFZ wide themes RU4;
Abstract

In times of global change and intensified resource exploitation, advanced knowledge of ecophysiological processes in natural and engineered systems driven by complex microbial communities is crucial for both, safeguarding environmental processes and optimising rational control of biotechnological processes. To gain such knowledge, high-throughput molecular techniques are routinely employed to investigate microbial community composition and dynamics within a wide range of natural or engineered environments. However, for molecular dataset analyses no consensus about a generally applicable alpha diversity concept and no appropriate benchmarking of corresponding statistical indices exist yet. To overcome this, we listed criteria for the appropriateness of an index for such analyses and systematically scrutinised commonly employed ecological indices describing diversity, evenness, and richness based on artificial and real molecular datasets. We identified appropriate indices warranting inter-study comparability and intuitive interpretability. The unified diversity concept based on ‘effective numbers of types’ provides the mathematical framework for describing community composition. Additionally, the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity as a beta-diversity index was found to reflect compositional changes. The employed statistical procedure is presented comprising commented R-scripts and example datasets for user-friendly trial application.

ID 17920
Persistent UFZ Identifier http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=17920
Lucas, R., Groeneveld, J., Harms, H., Johst, K., Frank, K., Kleinsteuber, S. (2017):
A critical evaluation of ecological indices for the comparative analysis of microbial communities based on molecular datasets
FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 93 (1), fiw209