Volume 25, Issue 7 p. 1221-1231
Editorial

The Pareto principle: To what extent does it apply to resource acquisition in stable microbial communities and thereby steer their geno−/ecotype compositions and interactions between their members?

Kenneth Timmis

Corresponding Author

Kenneth Timmis

Institute of Microbiology, Technical University, Braunschweig, Germany

Correspondence

Kenneth Timmis, Institute of Microbiology, Technical University Braunschweig, Germany.

Email: [email protected]

Contribution: Conceptualization (lead), Writing - original draft (lead), Writing - review & editing (equal)

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Willy Verstraete

Willy Verstraete

Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET), Ghent University, Belgium

Contribution: Conceptualization (equal), Writing - original draft (supporting), Writing - review & editing (equal)

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Viduthalai Rasheedkhan Regina

Viduthalai Rasheedkhan Regina

Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Contribution: Writing - review & editing (equal)

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John E. Hallsworth

John E. Hallsworth

Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University, Belfast, UK

Contribution: Conceptualization (equal), Writing - original draft (equal), Writing - review & editing (equal)

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First published: 12 June 2023
Citations: 1

Dedication: We dedicate this Opinion article to the 80% who need to manage with 20% of available resources, and express the hope that greater social equity will be achieved over time, at least in the humanity component of the biosphere.

Abstract

The Pareto principle, or 20:80 rule, describes resource distribution in stable communities whereby 20% of community members acquire 80% of a key resource. In this Burning Question, we ask to what extent the Pareto principle applies to the acquisition of limiting resources in stable microbial communities; how it may contribute to our understanding of microbial interactions, microbial community exploration of evolutionary space, and microbial community dysbiosis; and whether it can serve as a benchmark of microbial community stability and functional optimality?

CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT

The authors declare no conflict of interest.