Ecology helps bound causal explanations in microbiology

Abstract

Experimental manipulations are a key means to establish causal relationships in microbiology. However, challenges remain to establish the applicability of such experiments beyond the precise conditions in which they were conducted. Ecological information can help address these challenges by describing the extent to which an experimentally-determined mechanism can explain the natural phenomenon that it is purported to cause.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by NSF IOS-1656475.

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Correspondence to Jonathan L. Klassen.

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Klassen, J.L. Ecology helps bound causal explanations in microbiology. Biol Philos 35, 3 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10539-019-9728-5

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Keywords

  • Microbiome
  • Causality
  • Function
  • Koch’s postulates
  • Ecology