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Nat Med. 2019 Jun;25(6):884-889. doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0464-9. Epub 2019 May 27.

Community ecology as a framework for human microbiome research.

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Department of Pediatrics and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


The field of human microbiome research has revealed the intimate co-association of humans with diverse communities of microbes in various habitats in the human body, and the necessity of these microbes for the maintenance of human health. Microbial heterogeneity between humans and across spatial and temporal gradients requires multidimensional datasets and a unifying set of theories and statistical tools to analyze the human microbiome and fully realize the potential of this field. Here we consider the utility of community ecology as a framework for the interrogation and interpretation of the human microbiome.

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