An analysis of sludge (i.e., 63 samples) and biofilm (i.e., 79 samples) sampled from 13 anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBR) was conducted. Predominant microbial community identification and multivariate analysis indicate that these reactors showed different microbial community structure, but these differences had no impact on the overall AnMBR performance. Instead, core microbial genera which occurred in ≥90% of sludge (20 genera) and biofilm (12 genera) samples could potentially account for the AnMBR performance. A further calculation on net growth rate (NGR) of core genera in sludge suggested distribution into two main groups (i.e., I: low relative abundance and NGR, II: high relative abundance or high NGR). Consistent positive correlations between bacterial genera were observed among those that exhibited either high relative abundance or high NGR. The anaerobic microbial consortium in both sludge and biofilm were largely affected by stochastic dispersal and migration processes (i.e., neutral assembly). However, Acinetobacter spp. and Methanobacterium spp. occurred consistently in higher frequency in the biofilm but in lower occurrence frequency in the AnMBR permeate. Findings from this study suggest first, specific core microorganisms exist in the sludge regardless of the operating conditions of the AnMBRs, and second, prevention of biofoulant layer on anaerobic membranes can be devised by minimizing attachment of microbes on surfaces in a non-selective manner.