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Prokaryotic Diversity--Magnitude, Dynamics, and Controlling Factors

Science  10 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5570, pp. 1064-1066
DOI: 10.1126/science.1071698

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Abstract

There are probably millions of species in the microorganismal domains Bacteria and Archaea (the prokaryotes), and we are only just beginning to work out the basic principles governing their distribution and abundance in natural environments. One characteristic that has become clear is that prokaryote diversity in aquatic environments is orders of magnitude less than in sediments and soils. Hypotheses and models explaining such differences are under development and are beginning to offer promising insights into the mechanisms governing prokaryote diversity and ecosystem function.

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