Canadian Forest Service Publications

Variations in terrestrial arthropod DNA metabarcoding methods recovers robust beta diversity but variable richness and site indicators based on exact sequence variants. 2019. Porter, T.M.; Morris, D.M.; Basiliko, N.; Hajibabaei, M.; Doucet, D.; Bowman, S.; Emilson, E.J.S.; Emilson, C.E.; Chartrand, D.; Wainio-Keizer, K.; Séguin, A., Venier, L.A. Scientific Reports 9: Art. 18218.

Year: 2019

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39980

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-54532-0

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Plain Language Summary

Terrestrial arthropod fauna have been suggested as a key indicator of ecological integrity in forest systems. DNA metabarcoding could improve scalability and democratize the use of forest floor arthropods for biomonitoring applications because classic identification is expert-limited. The objective of this study was to establish the level of field sampling and DNA extraction replication needed for soil arthropod biodiversity assessments. Processing individually collected field samples recovered significantly higher richness than pooling the same number of field samples, and we found no significant richness differences when using 1 or 3 pooled DNA extractions. Variations in the number of individual or composite samples or DNA extractions resulted in similar sample clustering based on community dissimilarities. Though our ability to identify taxa to species rank was limited, we were able to use arthropod COI metabarcodes from forest soil to assess richness, distinguish among sites, and recover site indicators based on unnamed exact sequence variants. Our results highlight the need to continue DNA barcoding of local taxa during COI metabarcoding studies to help build reference databases. All together, these sampling considerations support the use of soil arthropod COI metabarcoding as a scalable method for biomonitoring.