Canadian Forest Service Publications

Metabarcoding of storage ethanol vs. conventional morphometric identification in relation to the use of stream macroinvertebrates as ecological indicators in forest management. 2018. Erdozain, M.; Thompson, D.G.; Porter, T.M.; Kidd, K.A.; Kreutzweiser, D.P.; Sibley, P.K.; Swystun, T.; Chartrand, D.; Hajibabaei, M. Ecological Indicators 101: 173-184.

Year: 2018

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39491

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.01.014

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Plain Language Summary

The study was conducted in the Black Brook forest area of New Brunswick, and applied techniques in aquatic invertebrate DNA metabarcoding as an assessment of invertebrate biodiversity. The goal of the study was to compare the emerging genomics techniques with conventional invertebrate identification for bioassessment purposes. The two approaches demonstrated substantial congruence in the detection of taxa (81% and 69% at the family and genus level, respectively) and in the characterization of community composition and richness. However, DNA metabarcoding from preservative ethanol identified significantly less genera (3.3 on average) and families (2.0) than conventional morphometrics. Taxa missed by metabarcoding from ethanol were typically low in proportional mass or poorly represented in the CO1 reference database. This led to some differences in the explanatory variables identified as being related to macroinvertebrate metrics, which could have implications on conclusions and management actions that might result therefrom. For example, the negative relationships between reach variables associated with forest management intensity and richness identified based on morphometrics were weaker based on metabarcoding. The paper shows the metabarcoding holds promise of improved accuracy and cost effectiveness for bioassessment, but the limitations and uncertainties currently assocatied with the techniques will need further development.