Variations in terrestrial arthropod DNA metabarcoding methods recovers robust beta diversity but variable richness and site indicators

Abstract

Terrestrial arthropod fauna have been suggested as a key indicator of ecological integrity in forest systems. Because phenotypic identification is expert-limited, a shift towards DNA metabarcoding could improve scalability and democratize the use of forest floor arthropods for biomonitoring applications. The objective of this study was to establish the level of field sampling and DNA extraction replication needed for arthropod biodiversity assessments from soil. Processing 15 individually collected soil samples recovered significantly higher median richness (488–614 sequence variants) than pooling the same number of samples (165–191 sequence variants) prior to DNA extraction, and we found no significant richness differences when using 1 or 3 pooled DNA extractions. Beta diversity was robust to changes in methodological regimes. Though our ability to identify taxa to species rank was limited, we were able to …

Publication
Scientific Reports
Erik Emilson
Erik Emilson
Research Scientist, Watershed Ecology Team Lead, Associate Editor CJFR

I am interested in how forests support freshwater ecosystem services. My research combines microbial and molecular approaches to undertand how forest productivity and disturbances affect ecosystem functions in headwater streams and lakes.

Caroline Emilson
Caroline Emilson
Molecular Ecologist/ Bioinformatician

Ecologist specializing in environmental genomics and microbial ecology.

Derek Chartrand
Derek Chartrand
Chemistry Lab Technician

NA

Lisa Venier
Lisa Venier
Research Scientist

I research biota (large and small) as indicators of sustaniable forest management