Holobionts and the ecology of organisms: Multi-species communities or integrated individuals?

Citation data:

Biology & Philosophy, ISSN: 0169-3867, Vol: 31, Issue: 6, Page: 875-892

Publication Year:
2016
Usage 194
Downloads 148
Abstract Views 39
Full Text Views 4
Link-outs 3
Captures 20
Readers 20
Social Media 10
Tweets 10
Citations 1
Citation Indexes 1
Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12485
DOI:
10.1007/s10539-016-9544-0
Author(s):
Skillings, Derek
Publisher(s):
Springer Nature
Tags:
Arts and Humanities, Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
article description
It is now widely accepted that microorganisms play many important roles in the lives of plants and animals. Every macroorganism has been shaped in some way by microorganisms. The recognition of the ubiquity and importance of microorganisms has led some to argue for a revolution in how we understand biological individuality and the primary units of natural selection. The term “holobiont” was introduced as a name for the biological unit made up by a host and all of its associated microorganisms, and much of this new debate about biological individuality has focused on whether holobionts are integrated individuals or communities. In this paper, I show how parts of the holobiont can span both characterizations. I argue that most holobionts share more affinities with communities than they do with organisms, and that, except for maybe in rare cases, holobionts do not meet the criteria for being organisms, evolutionary individuals, or units of selection.

This article has 0 Wikipedia mention.