Are there species smaller than 1 mm?

Axel G. Rossberg, T Rogers, Alan J McKane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)
132 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The rapid advance in genetic sequencing technologies has provided an unprecedented amount of data on the biodiversity of meiofauna. It was hoped that these data would allow the identification and counting of species, distinguished as tight clusters of similar genomes. Surprisingly, this appears not to be the case. Here, we begin a theoretical discussion of this phenomenon, drawing on an individual-based ecological model to inform our arguments. The determining factor in the emergence (or not) of distinguishable genetic clusters in the model is the product of population size with mutation rate—a measure of the adaptability of the population as a whole. This result suggests that indeed one should not expect to observe clearly distinguishable species groupings in data gathered from ultrasequencing of meiofauna.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20131248
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume280
Issue number1767
Early online date24 Jul 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2013

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