Linking 'omics measurements with biogeochemical cycles is a widespread challenge in microbial community ecology. Here, we propose applying genomic adaptation as 'biosensors' for microbial investments to overcome nutrient stress. We then integrate this genomic information with a trait-based model to predict regional shifts in the elemental composition of marine plankton communities. We evaluated this approach using metagenomic and particulate organic matter samples from the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. We find that our genome-based trait model significantly improves our prediction of particulate C: P (carbon: phosphorus) across ocean regions. Furthermore, we detect previously unrecognized ocean areas of iron, nitrogen and phosphorus stress. In many ecosystems, it can be very challenging to quantify microbial stress. Thus, a carefully calibrated genomic approach could become a widespread tool for understanding microbial responses to environmental changes and the biogeochemical outcomes. This article is part of the theme issue 'Conceptual challenges in microbial community ecology'.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences|
|State||Published - May 11 2020|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Elemental stoichiometry