The microbial ecosystem as stable community
A microbial ecosystem is the community of all microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi) living in a specific environment. By interacting with each other, the microbes form a higher level system that stabilizes itself and becomes robust against changes in the environmental living conditions.
Stability of microbial ecosystems includes the potential of resistance and the ability for resilience.
A microbial ecosystem is resistant to an environmental disturbance if it does not significantly change in the number of species and species proportions (species diversity and composition).
Resilience is the ability of a microbial ecosystem to find back to its original balanced state after a strong stress condition.
→ Environmental gene tags (EGTs)
Short DNA sequences that characterize microbial environments.