Cell size, genome size, and maximum growth rate are near-independent dimensions of ecological variation across bacteria and archaea

Mark Westoby*, Daniel Aagren Nielsen, Michael R. Gillings, Elena Litchman, Joshua S. Madin, Ian T. Paulsen, Sasha G. Tetu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Among bacteria and archaea, maximum relative growth rate, cell diameter, and genome size are widely regarded as important influences on ecological strategy. Via the most extensive data compilation so far for these traits across all clades and habitats, we ask whether they are correlated and if so how. Overall, we found little correlation among them, indicating they should be considered as independent dimensions of ecological variation. Nor was correlation evident within particular habitat types. A weak nonlinearity (6% of variance) was found whereby high maximum growth rates (temperature-adjusted) tended to occur in the midrange of cell diameters. Species identified in the literature as oligotrophs or copiotrophs were clearly separated on the dimension of maximum growth rate, but not on the dimensions of genome size or cell diameter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3956-3976
Number of pages21
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume11
Issue number9
Early online date16 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • archaea
  • bacteria
  • cell diameter
  • ecological strategies
  • genome size
  • maximum growth rate
  • traits

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