Microbial biogeography: Putting microorganisms on the map

Jennifer B.Hughes Martiny, Brendan J.M. Bohannan, James H. Brown, Robert K. Colwell, Jed A. Fuhrman, Jessica L. Green, M. Claire Horner-Devine, Matthew Kane, Jennifer Adams Krumins, Cheryl R. Kuske, Peter J. Morin, Shahid Naeem, Lise Øvreås, Anna Louise Reysenbach, Val H. Smith, James T. Staley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2194 Scopus citations


We review the biogeography of microorganisms in light of the biogeography of macroorganisms. A large body of research supports the idea that free-living microbial taxa exhibit biogeographic patterns. Current evidence confirms that, as proposed by the Baas-Becking hypothesis, 'the environment selects' and is, in part, responsible for spatial variation in microbial diversity. However, recent studies also dispute the idea that 'everything is everywhere'. We also consider how the processes that generate and maintain biogeographic patterns in macroorganisms could operate in the microbial world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-112
Number of pages11
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


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