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A family of interaction-adjusted indices of community similarity


Schmidt, Thomas Sebastian Benedikt; Matias Rodrigues, João Frederico; von Mering, Christian (2017). A family of interaction-adjusted indices of community similarity. The ISME journal, 11(3):791-807.

Abstract

Interactions between taxa are essential drivers of ecological community structure and dynamics, but they are not taken into account by traditional indices of β diversity. In this study, we propose a novel family of indices that quantify community similarity in the context of taxa interaction networks. Using publicly available datasets, we assessed the performance of two specific indices that are Taxa INteraction-Adjusted (TINA, based on taxa co-occurrence networks), and Phylogenetic INteraction-Adjusted (PINA, based on phylogenetic similarities). TINA and PINA outperformed traditional indices when partitioning human-associated microbial communities according to habitat, even for extremely downsampled datasets, and when organising ocean micro-eukaryotic plankton diversity according to geographical and physicochemical gradients. We argue that interaction-adjusted indices capture novel aspects of diversity outside the scope of traditional approaches, highlighting the biological significance of ecological association networks in the interpretation of community similarity.

Abstract

Interactions between taxa are essential drivers of ecological community structure and dynamics, but they are not taken into account by traditional indices of β diversity. In this study, we propose a novel family of indices that quantify community similarity in the context of taxa interaction networks. Using publicly available datasets, we assessed the performance of two specific indices that are Taxa INteraction-Adjusted (TINA, based on taxa co-occurrence networks), and Phylogenetic INteraction-Adjusted (PINA, based on phylogenetic similarities). TINA and PINA outperformed traditional indices when partitioning human-associated microbial communities according to habitat, even for extremely downsampled datasets, and when organising ocean micro-eukaryotic plankton diversity according to geographical and physicochemical gradients. We argue that interaction-adjusted indices capture novel aspects of diversity outside the scope of traditional approaches, highlighting the biological significance of ecological association networks in the interpretation of community similarity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
08 University Research Priority Programs > Evolution in Action: From Genomes to Ecosystems
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:11 Jan 2017 16:32
Last Modified:06 Aug 2017 02:53
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1751-7362
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2016.139
PubMed ID:27935587

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Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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