This paper outlines verbal theory, existing evidence and future avenues for studying evolutionary interactions across whole communities. Many thanks to the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC) for hosting my sabbatical visit. Watching cedar waxwings and hummingbirds from my office window helped inspire this paper. We now need quantitative theory to guide our experiments – watch this space!
6 years of hard work by Isobel shows that horizontal transfer has contributed genetic differences among bdelloids living in different habitats. It seems to be ongoing even in species that do not desiccate – interesting since the mechanism of gene transfer is argued to occur when rotifers repair their DNA following desiccation.