Diatom cooccurrence shows less segregation than predicted from niche modeling

Marius Bottin, Janne Soininen, Didier Alard, Juliette Rosebery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Species cooccurrence patterns give significant insights into the processes shaping communities. While biotic interactions have been widely studied using cooccurrence analyses in animals and larger plants, studies about cooccurrences among micro-organisms are still relatively rare. We examined stream diatom cooccurrences in France through a national database of samples. In order to test the relative influence of environmental, biotic and spatial constraints on species' incidence distribution, cooccurrence and nestedness patterns of real communities were compared with the patterns generated from a set of standard and environmentally constrained null models. Real communities showed a higher level of segregation than the most conservative standard null models, but a general aggregation of cooccurrences when compared to environmentally constrained null models. We did not find any evidence of limiting similarity between cooccurring species. Aggregations of species cooccurrences were associated with the high levels of nestedness. Altogether, these results suggested that biotic interactions were not structuring cooccurrences of diatom species at our study scale. Instead, the patterns were more likely to be related with colonization patterns, mass effect, and local temporal dynamics of diatom biofilms. We further highlight that the association of standard and environmentally constrained null models may give realistic insight into the cooccurrence patterns of microbial communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0154581
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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