About this Research Topic
Microbial communities constitute the most ancient, abundant, and diverse components of our ecosystems. Viewing these communities under the prism of community assembly theory, one of the most productive scopes in ecology, is exponentially growing with the explosion of microbiome data. Various aspects of microbial community assembly are being tackled, such as deterministic-vs-stochastic assembly, neutral-vs-niche-based theories, priority effects, historical contingencies, biotic interactions, environmental filtering, the relative importance of selection, dispersal, diversification, and drift, and the relationship between community assembly and ecosystem functioning. The research is rapidly expanding at different ecosystems across multiple scales in space and time.
This research topic aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas, methods, and findings for unraveling the community assembly mechanisms and rules underlying microbiome dynamics in space and/or time. The article collection encourages mechanistic research that explores the spatial/temporal variations rather than static observations of community assembly. Various compelling angles are expected to be explored, including (but not limited to) general patterns/rules of microbiome spatial/temporal dynamics, scale dependence of assembly mechanisms, difference in taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional aspects of dynamic community assembly, and predictive modeling enhanced by mechanistic understanding, as well as corresponding experimental and statistical approaches.
This Research Topic particularly welcomes but is not limited to contribution focusing on:
• Observations and underlying assembly mechanisms of microbial community spatial and/or temporal dynamics in natural or engineered systems.
• Relationship between microbial community assembly and the functioning of ecosystems under spatial and/or temporal dynamics.
• Statistical approaches (particularly quantitative methods) to reveal community assembly mechanisms in microbiome dynamics.
• Predictive modeling enhanced by mechanistic understanding of microbial assembly across space and/or time.
• Theories or conceptual frameworks of community assembly mechanisms underlying microbiome dynamics.
• Experimental systems to validate theories, hypotheses, or statistical methods related to microbial community assembly.
Keywords: microbial community, Statistical approaches, microbiome dynamics, deterministic-vs-stochastic
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.