Transient-rare bacterial taxa are assembled neutrally across temporal scales

Sang Hoon Lee, Taek Seung Kim, Hee Deung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Despite the importance of microbial communities in ecosystem functions, the mechanisms underlying the assembly of rare taxa over time are poorly understood. It remains largely unknown whether rare taxa exhibit similar assembly processes to common taxa in local communities. We herein retrieved the 16S rRNA sequences of bacteria collected bimonthly for 2 years from the Pohang wastewater treatment plant. The transient-rare taxa showed different abundance distributions from the common taxa. Transient-rare taxon assemblages also exhibited higher temporal variations than common taxon assemblages, suggesting the distinct ecological patterns of the two assemblages. A multivariate analysis revealed that environmental parameters accounted for 25.3 and 61.6% of temporal variations in the transient-rare and common taxon assemblages, respectively. The fitting of all observed taxa to a neutral community model revealed that 96.4% of the transient-rare taxa (relative abundance, 71.4%) and 73.3% of the common taxa (relative abundance, 45.6%) followed the model, suggesting that stochastic mechanisms were more important than deterministic ones in the assembly of the transient-rare taxa. Collectively, the present results indicate that the transient-rare bacterial taxa at the Pohang wastewater treatment plant differed from the common taxa in ecological patterns, suggesting that dispersal is a key process in their assembly.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberME20110
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobes and Environments
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Activated sludge
  • Community assembly
  • Neutral assembly
  • Rare taxa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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