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Disentangling the environment in wildlife microbiom-behaviour interactions: Response to Davidson et al

Nguyen, HKD, Jones, PJ ORCID: 0000-0002-4880-6711, Kendal, D ORCID: 0000-0003-2816-1722 and Flies, EJ ORCID: 0000-0002-1013-0330 2021 , 'Disentangling the environment in wildlife microbiom-behaviour interactions: Response to Davidson et al' , Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 36, no. 4 , pp. 277-278 , doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2020.11.008.

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Abstract

There is growing evidence that the gut microbiome strongly influences animal physiology and behaviour. In their recent article in TREE, Davidson et al. call for research into the relationship between the gut microbiome and behaviour in free-living wildlife to better understand the mechanisms and evolution of behavioural plasticity. They provide a framework for investigating microbiome-mediated behaviour, including microbiome manipulation to infer causality. While the authors recognise that the environment influences both gut microbiomes and behaviours, we suggest that their proposed framework does not adequately capture the complexity and multiplicity of environment–microbiome–behaviour links. As we argue, any examination of the links between the gut microbiome and behaviour in free-living wildlife demands a more holistic perspective of the role of the environment in shaping gut microbiomes, behaviours, and their interactions.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Nguyen, HKD and Jones, PJ and Kendal, D and Flies, EJ
Keywords: microbiome-mediated behaviour, natural systems, ecological relevance, environmental microbiome, gut microbiome
Journal or Publication Title: Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Publisher: Elsevier Science London
ISSN: 0169-5347
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.tree.2020.11.008
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© 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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