Niche construction is the process whereby organisms modify their own and each other’s niches in a manner that impacts their subsequent evolution. It has been viewed as a neglected process in biology that is now being addressed by Niche Construction Theory. We propose that alterations of the oxygen profile in the mammalian gut as an example of niche construction and investigated both direct and indirect mechanisms by which O2 concentrations are modified in the gut as well as the role of oxygen as a selective dimension of the gut environment. Insight into the interplay between oxygen concentrations and the intestinal microbiota suggest strategies for establishing and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.
Sponsored by the Host Microbiome Initiative