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Richness and ecosystem development across faecal snapshots of the gut microbiota

Faecal microbiota richness is considered a hallmark of gut health and stability. However, in healthy hosts, richness would primarily reflect the stage of ecosystem development through the gut, rather than community resilience. This Comment discusses the need to rethink microbiome biomarkers in the context of gut ecology.

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Acknowledgements

S.V.-S. is supported by a post-doctoral fellowship from Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen). The Raes Lab is funded by VIB, KU Leuven, the Rega institute for Medical Research, the FWO EOS program (30770923), FP7 METACARDIS (305312), H2020 SYSCID (733100), and AD-gut (686271), and JPco-fuND aSynProtec.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

Correspondence to Jeroen Raes.

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Fig. 1: Faecal microbiomes as snapshots of gut ecosystem maturation in healthy individuals.