Canadian Forest Service Publications

Studying Ecosystems With DNA Metabarcoding: Lessons From Biomonitoring of Aquatic Macroinvertebrates. 2019. Bush, A.; Compson, Z.G.; Monk, W.A.; Porter, T.M.; Steeves, R.; Emilson, E.J.S.; Gagne, N.; Hajibabaei, M.; Roy, M.; Baird, D.J. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7: Art. 434.

Year: 2019

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40000

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2019.00434

† This site may require a fee

Mark record

Plain Language Summary

The purpose of this publication is to review the use of DNA metabarcoding for the identification of freshwater invertebrates. These organisms are commonly collected as part of standardized biomonitoring programs – whereby the organisms are collected, separated, and taxonomically ID’d by skilled taxonomists. The communities are highly sensitive to environmental perturbations, and so community composition can tell us a lot about impact to ecosystem integrity and biodiversity. However, this is a very time consuming process and requires skilled taxonomists. Here we review emerging techniques to identify all invertebrate sin standardized collected samples from streams using DNA present in a sample. We compare the challenges of this emerging technique to the challenges of traditional techniques (taxonomic ID) , arguing that this new technology can improve the quality and utility of ecological data while significantly reducing costs and effort.