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Title: Scaling of species distribution explains the vast potential marine prokaryote diversity
Authors: Eguiluz, Victor M.; Salazar, Guillem; Fernandez-Gracia, Juan and Pearman, John K.; Gasol, Josep M.; Acinas, Silvia G.; Sunagawa, Shinichi; Irigoien, Xabier; Duarte, Carlos M.
Abstract: Global ocean expeditions have provided minimum estimates of ocean's prokaryote diversity, supported by apparent asymptotes in the number of prokaryotes with sampling effort, of about 40,000 species, representing <1\% of the species cataloged in the Earth Microbiome Project, despite being the largest habitat in the biosphere. Here we demonstrate that the abundance of prokaryote OT Us follows a scaling that can be represented by a power-law distribution, and as a consequence, we demonstrate, mathematically and through simulations, that the asymptote of rarefaction curves is an apparent one, which is only reached with sample sizes approaching the entire ecosystem. We experimentally confirm these findings using exhaustive repeated sampling of a prokaryote community in the Red Sea and the exploration of global assessments of prokaryote diversity in the ocean. Our findings indicate that, far from having achieved a thorough sampling of prokaryote species abundance in the ocean, global expeditions provide just a start for this quest as the richness in the global ocean is much larger than estimated.
Issue Date: 2019
Type: Article
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-54936-y
ISSN: 2045-2322
Funder: Malaspina Circumnavigation Expedition - Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through project Consolider-Ingenio Malaspina 2010 [CSD2008-00077]
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)King Abdullah University of Science \& Technology
Agencia Estatal de Investigacion (AEI) [FIS2016-80067-P, CTM2015-70340-R]
Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER)European Union (EU) [FIS2016-80067-P, CTM2015-70340-R]
Spanish State Research Agency through the Maria de Maeztu Program for Units of Excellence in RD [MDM-2017-0711]
Helmut Horten Foundation
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos

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