In the study, pond diatoms were sampled throughout the McMurdo Sound Region to test the relative roles of environmental variables versus dispersal constraints on community assembly in the continental Antarctic. The authors found that while water chemistry was influential, particularly Cl and Br concentrations, most variability was explained by the proximity of ponds to each other. In general, pond communities were most similar to others nearby than those farther away, regardless of physical or chemical variables.
These results suggest that microbial communities may show strong biogeographical patterns, even at relatively small spatial scales.
Sakaeva A, Sokol ER, Kohler TJ, Stanish LF, Spaulding SA, Howkins A, Welch KA, Lyons WB, Barrett JE, McKnight DM (2016) Evidence for dispersal and habitat controls on pond diatom communities from the McMurdo Sound Region of Antarctica. Polar Biology doi:10.1007/s00300-016-1901-6