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Metacoder: An R package for visualization and manipulation of community taxonomic diversity data

Fig 2

Heat trees allow for a better understanding of community structure than stacked bar charts.

The stacked bar chart on the left represents the abundance of organisms in two samples from the Human Microbiome Project [5]. The same data are displayed as heat trees on the right. In the heat trees, size and color of nodes and edges are correlated with the abundance of organisms in each community. Both visualizations show communities dominated by firmicutes, but the heat trees reveal that the two samples share no families within firmicutes and are thus much more different than suggested by the stacked bar chart.

Fig 2