The ecosystem services of animal microbiomes.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Microbiologists often evaluate microbial community dynamics by formulating functional hypotheses based on ecological processes. Indeed, many of the methods and terms currently used to describe animal microbiomes derive from ecology and evolutionary biology. As our understanding of the composition and functional dynamics of "the microbiome" grows, we increasingly refer to the host as an ecosystem within which microbial processes play out. Even so, an ecosystem service framework that extends to the context of the host has thus far been lacking. Here, we argue that ecosystem services are a useful framework with which to consider the value of microbes to their hosts. We discuss those "microbiome services" in the specific context of the mammalian gut, providing a context from which to develop new hypotheses and to evaluate microbial functions in future studies and novel systems.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McKenney, EA; Koelle, K; Dunn, RR; Yoder, AD

Published Date

  • April 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 2164 - 2172

PubMed ID

  • 29427300

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1365-294X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0962-1083

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/mec.14532


  • eng