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microbial functional groups and their responses to various disturbances. Greater efforts toward improving culture techniques and assessing the physiological responses of microbial populations under controlled conditions would be especially useful. Once explicitly incorporated into models, this information could greatly enhance our ability to predict ecosystem responses to global change.


We thank Devon Bradley, Claire Horner-Devine, and Adam Martiny for comments on earlier versions of the manuscript and Francisco Ayala, John Avise, and Stephen Hubbell for organizing the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium “In the Light of Evolution II: Biodiversity and Extinction.” Support to J.B.H.M. was provided by the National Science Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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