The mechanistic link between health and gut microbiota diversity

Although numerous reports link a decreased diversity of the gut microbiota to a declined health status, to date no mechanistic motivation for this exists. Here, we show by applying first principles basic graph theory on small networks that higher diversity within such a network indeed leads to more efficient systems and redundancy. Our results quantitatively support earlier hypothetical considerations on gut microbiota richness with respect to these parameters. Our simulations show that higher species diversity leads to higher resilience within small  microbiological ecosystems, like being present in the gut microbiota. This notion should provide an ingredient when developing new interventional strategies within the domain of microbiota management.