The environmental factors used in correlation analysis with microbial community of environmental and cultural heritage samples

Jing Chen, Ji-Dong Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Nucleotide sequences and genomics data are increasing used in analysis of microbial characteristics in community composition and diversity for a wide range of samples. At the same time, correlation analysis is used in an effort to make connection to the non-biological factors, including physical and chemical ones, in shaping the microbiome. Chemical analysis of environmental samples of soils and sediments is a routine procedure to obtain the concentrations of various chemical nutrients in 2M KCl extract which are widely reported in papers, but a better and a more meaningful practice is to use porewater of the samples for the chemical analysis if possible. In a similar way, meteorological data of the ambient conditions are used for correlation analysis with the microbiome on outdoor cultural heritage, but the in situ variables of the heritage objects are rarely measured at the time of sampling with a genuine effort. For cultural heritage, the intricate interactions between temperature and humidity of the ambient environment are critically important to the in situ conditions and variabilities of the water available on the surface and inside the heritage objects, so a more close and accurate measurements at the sampling location and the time of sampling is needed for improvement of cultural heritage research. In addition, the statistical results are inference from the available data, but not a confirmation on any relationship. Further experimental verification is required to advance the potential relation for establishment of the science, cause-and-effect. Because of these, proposal is made here to increase the awareness of these issues and practice so that future research can take them into account to improve the research experiments for better results in a positive way to enhance the knowledge on these subject matters to advance the science as the final goal.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Biodeterioration and Biodegradation
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022


  • Microbiome
  • Microbial ecology
  • Correlation analysis
  • Inference
  • Cultural heritage
  • Environmental research


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