James C Stegen

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A recent increase in studies of β diversity has yielded a confusing array of concepts, measures and methods. Here, we provide a roadmap of the most widely used and ecologically relevant approaches for analysis through a series of mission statements. We distinguish two types of β diversity: directional turnover along a gradient vs. non-directional variation.(More)
Marti J. Anderson,* Thomas O. Crist, Jonathan M. Chase, Mark Vellend, Brian D. Inouye, Amy L. Freestone, Nathan J. Sanders, Howard V. Cornell, Liza S. Comita, Kendi F. Davies, Susan P. Harrison, Nathan J. B. Kraft, James C. Stegen and Nathan G. Swenson Abstract A recent increase in studies of b diversity has yielded a confusing array of concepts, measures(More)
Understanding spatial variation in biodiversity along environmental gradients is a central theme in ecology. Differences in species compositional turnover among sites (β diversity) occurring along gradients are often used to infer variation in the processes structuring communities. Here, we show that sampling alone predicts changes in β diversity caused(More)
Increasing evidence has emerged for non-random spatial distributions of microbes, but knowledge of the processes that cause variation in microbial assemblage among ecosystems is lacking. For instance, some studies showed that deterministic processes such as habitat specialization are important, while other studies hold that bacterial communities are(More)
Although recent research revealed an impact of westernization on diversity and composition of the human gut microbiota, the exact consequences on metacommunity characteristics are insufficiently understood, and the underlying ecological mechanisms have not been elucidated. Here, we have compared the fecal microbiota of adults from two non-industrialized(More)
Several theories predict whole-tree function on the basis of allometric scaling relationships assumed to emerge from traits of branching networks. To test this key assumption, and more generally, to explore patterns of external architecture within and across trees, we measure branch traits (radii/lengths) and calculate scaling exponents from five(More)
A major goal of microbial community ecology is to understand the forces that structure community composition. Deterministic selection by specific environmental factors is sometimes important, but in other cases stochastic or ecologically neutral processes dominate. Lacking is a unified conceptual framework aiming to understand why deterministic processes(More)
Most plant species have a range of traits that deter herbivores. However, understanding of how different defences are related to one another is surprisingly weak. Many authors argue that defence traits trade off against one another, while others argue that they form coordinated defence syndromes. We collected a dataset of unprecedented taxonomic and(More)
Ecological succession and the balance between stochastic and deterministic processes are two major themes within microbial ecology, but these conceptual domains have mostly developed independent of each other. Here we provide a framework that integrates shifts in community assembly processes with microbial primary succession to better understand mechanisms(More)
Candidate phylum OD1 bacteria (also referred to as Parcubacteria) have been identified in a broad range of anoxic environments through community survey analysis. Although none of these species have been isolated in the laboratory, several genome sequences have been reconstructed from metagenomic sequence data and single-cell sequencing. The organisms have(More)