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Inferring species interactions from co-occurrence data is one of the most controversial tasks in community ecology. One difficulty is that a single pairwise interaction can ripple through an ecological network and produce surprising indirect consequences. For example, the negative correlation between two competing species can be reversed in the presence of a third species that is capable of outcompeting both of them. Here, I apply models from statistical physics, called Markov networks ordoi:10.1101/018861 fatcat:wbnalcsqqraevl22up4qc6fnrq