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

    12 Citations (Scopus)
    48 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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