Microbial Species–Area Relationships in Antarctic Cryoconite Holes Depend on Productivity Public Deposited
  • The island species–area relationship (ISAR) is a positive association between the number of species and the area of an isolated, island-like habitat. ISARs are ubiquitous across domains of life, yet the processes generating ISARs remain poorly understood, particularly for microbes. Larger and more productive islands are hypothesized to have more species because they support larger populations of each species and thus reduce the probability of stochastic extinctions in small population sizes. Here, we disentangled the effects of “island” size and productivity on the ISAR of Antarctic cryoconite holes. We compared the species richness of bacteria and microbial eukaryotes on two glaciers that differ in their productivity across varying hole sizes. We found that cryoconite holes on the more productive Canada Glacier gained more species with increasing hole area than holes on the less productive Taylor Glacier. Within each glacier, neither productivity nor community evenness explained additional variation in the ISAR. Our results are, therefore, consistent with productivity shaping microbial ISARs at broad scales. More comparisons of microbial ISARs across environments with limited confounding factors, such as cryoconite holes, and experimental manipulations within these systems will further contribute to our understanding of the processes shaping microbial biogeography.

Academic Affiliation
Journal Title
Journal Issue/Number
  • 11
Journal Volume
  • 8
Last Modified
  • 2020-11-18
Resource Type
Rights Statement
  • 2076-2607