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Big answers from small worlds : A user's guide for protist microcosms as a model system in ecology and evolution

Altermatt, Florian; Fronhofer, Emanuel A.; Garnier, Aurélie; Giometto, Andrea; Hammes, Frederik; Klecka, Jan; Legrand, Delphine; Mächler, Elvira; Massie, Thomas M. and Pennekamp, Frank, et al. (2015) In Methods in Ecology and Evolution 6(2). p.218-231
Abstract

Summary: Laboratory microcosm experiments using protists as model organisms have a long tradition and are widely used to investigate general concepts in population biology, community ecology and evolutionary biology. Many variables of interest are measured in order to study processes and patterns at different spatiotemporal scales and across all levels of biological organization. This includes measurements of body size, mobility or abundance, in order to understand population dynamics, dispersal behaviour and ecosystem processes. Also, a variety of manipulations are employed, such as temperature changes or varying connectivity in spatial microcosm networks. Past studies, however, have used varying methods for maintenance, measurement,... (More)

Summary: Laboratory microcosm experiments using protists as model organisms have a long tradition and are widely used to investigate general concepts in population biology, community ecology and evolutionary biology. Many variables of interest are measured in order to study processes and patterns at different spatiotemporal scales and across all levels of biological organization. This includes measurements of body size, mobility or abundance, in order to understand population dynamics, dispersal behaviour and ecosystem processes. Also, a variety of manipulations are employed, such as temperature changes or varying connectivity in spatial microcosm networks. Past studies, however, have used varying methods for maintenance, measurement, and manipulation, which hinders across-study comparisons and meta-analyses, and the added value they bring. Furthermore, application of techniques such as flow cytometry, image and video analyses, and in situ environmental probes provide novel and improved opportunities to quantify variables of interest at unprecedented precision and temporal resolution. Here, we take the first step towards a standardization of well-established and novel methods and techniques within the field of protist microcosm experiments. We provide a comprehensive overview of maintenance, measurement and manipulation methods. An extensive supplement contains detailed protocols of all methods, and these protocols also exist in a community updateable online repository. We envision that such a synthesis and standardization of methods will overcome shortcomings and challenges faced by past studies and also promote activities such as meta-analyses and distributed experiments conducted simultaneously across many different laboratories at a global scale.

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publication status
published
keywords
Ciliates, Comparability, Ecological theory, Experimental ecology, Methods, Protists, Protocols, Protozoa, Standardization
in
Methods in Ecology and Evolution
volume
6
issue
2
pages
218 - 231
publisher
British Ecology Society / John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
external identifiers
  • scopus:84922403637
ISSN
2041-210X
DOI
10.1111/2041-210X.12312
language
English
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no
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d0e825a1-1d58-44e5-a440-f87c79ab0dbc
date added to LUP
2019-04-10 10:05:59
date last changed
2019-09-26 04:32:40
@article{d0e825a1-1d58-44e5-a440-f87c79ab0dbc,
  abstract     = {<p>Summary: Laboratory microcosm experiments using protists as model organisms have a long tradition and are widely used to investigate general concepts in population biology, community ecology and evolutionary biology. Many variables of interest are measured in order to study processes and patterns at different spatiotemporal scales and across all levels of biological organization. This includes measurements of body size, mobility or abundance, in order to understand population dynamics, dispersal behaviour and ecosystem processes. Also, a variety of manipulations are employed, such as temperature changes or varying connectivity in spatial microcosm networks. Past studies, however, have used varying methods for maintenance, measurement, and manipulation, which hinders across-study comparisons and meta-analyses, and the added value they bring. Furthermore, application of techniques such as flow cytometry, image and video analyses, and in situ environmental probes provide novel and improved opportunities to quantify variables of interest at unprecedented precision and temporal resolution. Here, we take the first step towards a standardization of well-established and novel methods and techniques within the field of protist microcosm experiments. We provide a comprehensive overview of maintenance, measurement and manipulation methods. An extensive supplement contains detailed protocols of all methods, and these protocols also exist in a community updateable online repository. We envision that such a synthesis and standardization of methods will overcome shortcomings and challenges faced by past studies and also promote activities such as meta-analyses and distributed experiments conducted simultaneously across many different laboratories at a global scale.</p>},
  author       = {Altermatt, Florian and Fronhofer, Emanuel A. and Garnier, Aurélie and Giometto, Andrea and Hammes, Frederik and Klecka, Jan and Legrand, Delphine and Mächler, Elvira and Massie, Thomas M. and Pennekamp, Frank and Plebani, Marco and Pontarp, Mikael and Schtickzelle, Nicolas and Thuillier, Virginie and Petchey, Owen L.},
  issn         = {2041-210X},
  keyword      = {Ciliates,Comparability,Ecological theory,Experimental ecology,Methods,Protists,Protocols,Protozoa,Standardization},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {218--231},
  publisher    = {British Ecology Society / John Wiley & Sons, Inc.},
  series       = {Methods in Ecology and Evolution},
  title        = {Big answers from small worlds : A user's guide for protist microcosms as a model system in ecology and evolution},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12312},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2015},
}