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Ecosystems and their microbiomes (bacteria, archaea, single cell eukaryotes, viruses) and keystone holobionts from the southern hemisphere are in general less covered by the global scientific community compared with “model” systems usually from the north. This avoids a better understanding of a regional ...

Ecosystems and their microbiomes (bacteria, archaea, single cell eukaryotes, viruses) and keystone holobionts from the southern hemisphere are in general less covered by the global scientific community compared with “model” systems usually from the north. This avoids a better understanding of a regional diversity and potential differential microbial community responses. Moreover, the southern hemisphere exhibits unique ecosystems on Earth, such as high latitude systems including Patagonian peatlands, fjords and lakes, the Austral ocean and Antarctica, high altitude ecosystems, as well as desertic, tropical and subtropical areas having a great impact at a global scale as hotspots of biodiversity and biogeochemical processes. These unique ecosystems may suffer environmental changes taking place in several developing countries, where the increasingly growing surface dedicated to commodities, mining and intensive cattle is generating unprecedented changes whose impact on habitats, biodiversity and biogeochemical cycles is still unknown. In these southern ecosystems, integrative studies are lacking in order to better understand their ecosystemic roles and functions from a microbial point of view and their responses under natural and anthropic pressures in changing environments.

This Research Topic aims at opening an integrative space of discussion focusing on questions and applications contextualized in the southern hemisphere to promote the  visualization and understanding of heterogeneous ecosystems and their microbiome functioning and interaction.
We are seeking for studies and opinions reporting, but not limited to:
1) baseline of underexplored southern ecosystems (or its comparison with northern counterparts);  
2) the functional role of microorganisms with different lifestyles (e.g., free-living, particle-living or symbionts, epibiotics, infection among other interactions) in changing environments considering natural and anthropogenic stressors as driving factors; 
3) the influence of environmental factors as drivers of diversity, composition and distribution of microorganisms and interactions in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; 
4) integrative visions for understanding the contribution of microbial processes having a global impact, such as nutrients, pollutants and greenhouse gases recycling.  
5) viral ecology - ecological interactions associated with viral regulation as top-down controllers and viral-host systems 
6) microbial ecology of biological invasions including not only microbial invasors, but also the effect of other invasive organisms on local microbial communities.

This Research Topic welcomes the submission of all article types accepted in Frontiers in Microbiology including original research, reviews, methods or perspectives encouraging integrative approaches contextualized in the diversity of ecosystems from the southern hemisphere. In particular, we are seeking for articles using multidisciplinary approaches to study microbial communities in the natural environment contributing to the understanding of different ecosystems functioning, complementing the use of omics techniques with other microbial, biogeochemical and environment characterization efforts.

Keywords: Microbial interactions, Microbial diversity, Biogeochemical cycles, Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, Archaea, Bacteria, Virus, microeukaryotes, metacommunities, ecotoxicology, bioremediation, microbiota, metagenomics


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.

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