Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Ecological recipes for selecting community function

Simulations of eco-evolutionary processes involved in artificial selection of microbial communities provide a guide to optimize experimental design for improving ecosystem functions.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: Schematic representation of ecology in an experiment of microbial community selection.


  1. Doolittle, W. F. & Zhaxybayeva, O. BioScience 60, 102–112 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Liautaud, K., van Nes, E. H., Barbier, M., Scheffer, M. & Loreau, M. Ecol. Lett. 22, 1243–1252 (2019).

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. Morris, A., Meyer, K. & Bohannan, B. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B Biol. Sci. 375, 20190244 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. De Monte, S. & Rainey, P. B. J. Biosci. 39, 237–248 (2014).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Chang, C.-Y. et al. Nat. Ecol. Evol. (2021).

  6. Goldford, J. E. et al. Science 361, 469–474 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Machado, D. et al. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 5, 195–203 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Ratzke, C., Barrere, J. & Gore, J. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 4, 376–383 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Wright, E. S. & Vetsigian, K. H. Nat. Commun. 7, 11274 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Szathmáry, E. & Demeter, L. J. Theor. Biol. 128, 463–486 (1987).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Xie, L., Yuan, A. E. & Shou, W. PLoS Biol. 17, e3000295 (2019).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. van Vliet, S. & Doebeli, M. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 116, 20591–20597 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Doulcier, G., Lambert, A., De Monte, S. & Rainey, P. B. eLife 9, e53433 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Black, A. J., Bourrat, P. & Rainey, P. B. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 4, 426–436 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Williams, H. T. P. & Lenton, T. M. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 104, 8918–8923 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Barbier, M., Arnoldi, J.-F., Bunin, G. & Loreau, M. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 115, 2156–2161 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Pearce, M. T., Agarwala, A. & Fisher, D. S. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 117, 14572–14583 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Roy, F., Barbier, M., Biroli, G. & Bunin, G. PLoS Comput. Biol. 16, e1007827 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Silvia De Monte.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

De Monte, S. Ecological recipes for selecting community function. Nat Ecol Evol 5, 894–895 (2021).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing