Three-dimensional plots displaying abundance, occurrence and evenness of sequences in connected components. Plots are based on DNA (above) and cDNA (below) networks at the most exclusive sequence similarity threshold (≥99%). Each dot (339 for DNA; 593 for cDNA) represents one CC, hence one conspecific group of ciliate sequences. Color and position of a dot on the y-axis indicates its abundance (the number of sequences in the CC). Occurrence refers to the number of sampling sites (maximum = 8) at which sequences of the CC were detected. Evenness (estimated as Simpson index) describes whether sequences of a CC are homogenously distributed across different sampling sites (SI = 0 indicates an uneven distribution, SI close to 1 indicates an even distribution). LC analyses revealed similar results (see Additional file 8: Figure S4). CC, connected components; LC, Louvain communities.