The Microbial Conveyor Belt: Connecting the Globe through Dispersion and Dormancy

Mireia Mestre, JUAN HOFER

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the recent increase in knowledge concerning microorganisms, the processes determining their global distribution and functioning have not been disentangled. Microbial dormant stages are adapted to endure specific adverse conditions related to their dispersion path, suggesting that dispersion is not entirely a stochastic process. Long-term dormancy enhances microbial dispersion, promoting the ubiquity of microorganisms. The evidence leads us to propose that there is a global, recurrent, and spatially cyclical dispersion of microorganisms that we have called the Microbial Conveyor Belt. These dispersion cycles directly influence the distribution of microorganisms, the global cycling of inorganic and organic matter, and thus the Earth system's functioning.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Microbiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • biogeography
  • dispersion
  • dormancy
  • global biogeochemical cycles
  • microorganism
  • seed bank

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