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      Insights into biodiversity sampling strategies for freshwater microinvertebrate faunas through bioblitz campaigns and DNA barcoding

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          Abstract

          Background

          Biodiversity surveys have long depended on traditional methods of taxonomy to inform sampling protocols and to determine when a representative sample of a given species pool of interest has been obtained. Questions remain as to how to design appropriate sampling efforts to accurately estimate total biodiversity. Here we consider the biodiversity of freshwater ostracods (crustacean class Ostracoda) from the region of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Through an analysis of observed species richness and complementarity, accumulation curves, and richness estimators, we conduct an a posteriori analysis of five bioblitz-style collection strategies that differed in terms of total duration, number of sites, protocol flexibility to heterogeneous habitats, sorting of specimens for analysis, and primary purpose of collection. We used DNA barcoding to group specimens into molecular operational taxonomic units for comparison.

          Results

          Forty-eight provisional species were identified through genetic divergences, up from the 30 species previously known and documented in literature from the Churchill region. We found differential sampling efficiency among the five strategies, with liberal sorting of specimens for molecular analysis, protocol flexibility (and particularly a focus on covering diverse microhabitats), and a taxon-specific focus to collection having strong influences on garnering more accurate species richness estimates.

          Conclusions

          Our findings have implications for the successful design of future biodiversity surveys and citizen-science collection projects, which are becoming increasingly popular and have been shown to produce reliable results for a variety of taxa despite relying on largely untrained collectors. We propose that efficiency of biodiversity surveys can be increased by non-experts deliberately selecting diverse microhabitats; by conducting two rounds of molecular analysis, with the numbers of samples processed during round two informed by the singleton prevalence during round one; and by having sub-teams (even if all non-experts) focus on select taxa. Our study also provides new insights into subarctic diversity of freshwater Ostracoda and contributes to the broader “Barcoding Biotas” campaign at Churchill. Finally, we comment on the associated implications and future research directions for community ecology analyses and biodiversity surveys through DNA barcoding, which we show here to be an efficient technique enabling rapid biodiversity quantification in understudied taxa.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Extreme diversity of tropical parasitoid wasps exposed by iterative integration of natural history, DNA barcoding, morphology, and collections.

          We DNA barcoded 2,597 parasitoid wasps belonging to 6 microgastrine braconid genera reared from parapatric tropical dry forest, cloud forest, and rain forest in Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica and combined these data with records of caterpillar hosts and morphological analyses. We asked whether barcoding and morphology discover the same provisional species and whether the biological entities revealed by our analysis are congruent with wasp host specificity. Morphological analysis revealed 171 provisional species, but barcoding exposed an additional 142 provisional species; 95% of the total is likely to be undescribed. These 313 provisional species are extraordinarily host specific; more than 90% attack only 1 or 2 species of caterpillars out of more than 3,500 species sampled. The most extreme case of overlooked diversity is the morphospecies Apanteles leucostigmus. This minute black wasp with a distinctive white wing stigma was thought to parasitize 32 species of ACG hesperiid caterpillars, but barcoding revealed 36 provisional species, each attacking one or a very few closely related species of caterpillars. When host records and/or within-ACG distributions suggested that DNA barcoding had missed a species-pair, or when provisional species were separated only by slight differences in their barcodes, we examined nuclear sequences to test hypotheses of presumptive species boundaries and to further probe host specificity. Our iterative process of combining morphological analysis, ecology, and DNA barcoding and reiteratively using specimens maintained in permanent collections has resulted in a much more fine-scaled understanding of parasitoid diversity and host specificity than any one of these elements could have produced on its own.
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            Environmental Barcoding: A Next-Generation Sequencing Approach for Biomonitoring Applications Using River Benthos

            Timely and accurate biodiversity analysis poses an ongoing challenge for the success of biomonitoring programs. Morphology-based identification of bioindicator taxa is time consuming, and rarely supports species-level resolution especially for immature life stages. Much work has been done in the past decade to develop alternative approaches for biodiversity analysis using DNA sequence-based approaches such as molecular phylogenetics and DNA barcoding. On-going assembly of DNA barcode reference libraries will provide the basis for a DNA-based identification system. The use of recently introduced next-generation sequencing (NGS) approaches in biodiversity science has the potential to further extend the application of DNA information for routine biomonitoring applications to an unprecedented scale. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of using 454 massively parallel pyrosequencing for species-level analysis of freshwater benthic macroinvertebrate taxa commonly used for biomonitoring. We designed our experiments in order to directly compare morphology-based, Sanger sequencing DNA barcoding, and next-generation environmental barcoding approaches. Our results show the ability of 454 pyrosequencing of mini-barcodes to accurately identify all species with more than 1% abundance in the pooled mixture. Although the approach failed to identify 6 rare species in the mixture, the presence of sequences from 9 species that were not represented by individuals in the mixture provides evidence that DNA based analysis may yet provide a valuable approach in finding rare species in bulk environmental samples. We further demonstrate the application of the environmental barcoding approach by comparing benthic macroinvertebrates from an urban region to those obtained from a conservation area. Although considerable effort will be required to robustly optimize NGS tools to identify species from bulk environmental samples, our results indicate the potential of an environmental barcoding approach for biomonitoring programs.
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              DNA barcodes reveal cryptic host-specificity within the presumed polyphagous members of a genus of parasitoid flies (Diptera: Tachinidae).

              Insect parasitoids are a major component of global biodiversity and affect the population dynamics of their hosts. However, identification of insect parasitoids is often difficult, and they are suspected to contain many cryptic species. Here, we ask whether the cytochrome c oxidase I DNA barcode could function as a tool for species identification and discovery for the 20 morphospecies of Belvosia parasitoid flies (Diptera: Tachinidae) that have been reared from caterpillars (Lepidoptera) in Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), northwestern Costa Rica. Barcoding not only discriminates among all 17 highly host-specific morphospecies of ACG Belvosia, but it also raises the species count to 32 by revealing that each of the three generalist species are actually arrays of highly host-specific cryptic species. We also identified likely hybridization among Belvosia by using a variable internal transcribed spacer region 1 nuclear rDNA sequence as a genetic covariate in addition to the strategy of overlaying barcode clusters with ecological information. If general, these results will increase estimates of global species richness and imply that tropical conservation and host-parasite interactions may be more complex than expected.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Ecol
                BMC Ecol
                BMC Ecology
                BioMed Central
                1472-6785
                2013
                4 April 2013
                : 13
                : 13
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON, M3J 1P3, Canada
                [2 ]Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 Docteur Penfield, Montréal, QC, H2X 2K6, Canada
                [3 ]Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Rd. E, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada
                [4 ]Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Rd. E, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada
                Article
                1472-6785-13-13
                10.1186/1472-6785-13-13
                3651337
                23557180
                Copyright ©2013 Laforest et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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