The rare biosphere is predicted to aid in maintaining functional redundancy as well as contributing to community turnover across many environments. Recent developments have partially confirmed these hypotheses, while also giving new insights into dormancy and activity among rare communities. However, less attention has been paid to the rare biosphere in soils. This study provides insight into the rare biosphere's contribution to soil microbial diversity through the study of 781 soil samples representing 24 edaphically diverse sites. Results show that Bray-Curtis dissimilarity for time-sensitive conditionally rare taxa (CRT) does not correlate with whole community dissimilarity, while dissimilarity for space-sensitive CRT only weakly correlate with whole community dissimilarity. This adds to current understanding of spatiotemporal filtering of rare taxa, showing that CRT do not account for community variance across tested soils, but are under the same selective pressure as the whole community.
Kaminsky, R., & Morales, S. E. (2018). Conditionally rare taxa contribute but do not account for changes in soil prokaryotic community structure. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9(APR). https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.00809