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The future of biotic indices in the ecogenomic era: Integrating (e)DNA metabarcoding in biological assessment of aquatic ecosystems


Pawlowski, Jan; Kelly-Quinn, Mary; Altermatt, Florian; et al (2018). The future of biotic indices in the ecogenomic era: Integrating (e)DNA metabarcoding in biological assessment of aquatic ecosystems. Science of the Total Environment, 637-638:1295-1310.

Abstract

The bioassessment of aquatic ecosystems is currently based on various biotic indices that use the occurrence and/ or abundance of selected taxonomic groups to define ecological status. These conventional indices have some limitations, often related to difficulties in morphological identification of bioindicator taxa. Recent development of DNA barcoding and metabarcoding could potentially alleviate some of these limitations, by using DNA se- quences instead of morphology to identify organisms and to characterize a given ecosystem. In this paper, we re- view the structure of conventional biotic indices, and we present the results of pilot metabarcoding studies using environmental DNA to infer biotic indices. We discuss the main advantages and pitfalls of metabarcoding ap- proaches to assess parameters such as richness, abundance, taxonomic composition and species ecological values, to be used for calculation of biotic indices. We present some future developments to fully exploit the po- tential of metabarcoding data and improve the accuracy and precision of their analysis. We also propose some recommendations for the future integration of DNA metabarcoding to routine biomonitoring programs.

Abstract

The bioassessment of aquatic ecosystems is currently based on various biotic indices that use the occurrence and/ or abundance of selected taxonomic groups to define ecological status. These conventional indices have some limitations, often related to difficulties in morphological identification of bioindicator taxa. Recent development of DNA barcoding and metabarcoding could potentially alleviate some of these limitations, by using DNA se- quences instead of morphology to identify organisms and to characterize a given ecosystem. In this paper, we re- view the structure of conventional biotic indices, and we present the results of pilot metabarcoding studies using environmental DNA to infer biotic indices. We discuss the main advantages and pitfalls of metabarcoding ap- proaches to assess parameters such as richness, abundance, taxonomic composition and species ecological values, to be used for calculation of biotic indices. We present some future developments to fully exploit the po- tential of metabarcoding data and improve the accuracy and precision of their analysis. We also propose some recommendations for the future integration of DNA metabarcoding to routine biomonitoring programs.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Environmental Engineering
Physical Sciences > Environmental Chemistry
Physical Sciences > Waste Management and Disposal
Physical Sciences > Pollution
Uncontrolled Keywords:Biomonitoring, Bioassessment, Marine; Freshwater; Environmental DNA, Metabarcording
Language:English
Date:1 October 2018
Deposited On:07 Dec 2018 14:33
Last Modified:27 Nov 2020 07:29
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0048-9697
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.05.002
Official URL:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969718316322?via%3Dihub
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPP00P3_150698
  • : Project TitleBridging biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dendritic networks: a meta-ecosystem perspective
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID31003A_173074
  • : Project TitleRiverDNA: uncovering fundamental biodiversity in riverine systems using environmental DNA

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