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Discovering hidden biodiversity: The use of complementary monitoring of fish diet based on DNA barcoding in freshwater ecosystems

Citation

Jo, H and Ventura, M and Vidal, N and Gim, J-S and Buchaca, T and Barmuta, LA and Jeppesen, E and Joo, G-J, Discovering hidden biodiversity: The use of complementary monitoring of fish diet based on DNA barcoding in freshwater ecosystems, Ecology and Evolution, 6, (1) pp. 219-232. ISSN 2045-7758 (2016) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.1002/ece3.1825

Abstract

Ecological monitoring contributes to the understanding of complex ecosystem functions. The diets of fish reflect the surrounding environment and habitats and may, therefore, act as useful integrating indicators of environmental status. It is, however, often difficult to visually identify items in gut contents to species level due to digestion of soft-bodied prey beyond visual recognition, but new tools rendering this possible are now becoming available. We used a molecular approach to determine the species identities of consumed diet items of an introduced generalist feeder, brown trout (Salmo trutta), in 10 Tasmanian lakes and compared the results with those obtained from visual quantification of stomach contents. We obtained 44 unique taxa (OTUs) belonging to five phyla, including seven classes, using the barcode of life approach from cytochrome oxidase I (COI). Compared with visual quantification, DNA analysis showed greater accuracy, yielding a 1.4-fold higher number of OTUs. Rarefaction curve analysis showed saturation of visually inspected taxa, while the curves from the DNA barcode did not saturate. The OTUs with the highest proportions of haplotypes were the families of terrestrial insects Formicidae, Chrysomelidae, and Torbidae and the freshwater Chironomidae. Haplotype occurrence per lake was negatively correlated with lake depth and transparency. Nearly all haplotypes were only found in one fish gut from a single lake. Our results indicate that DNA barcoding of fish diets is a useful and complementary method for discovering hidden biodiversity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:DNA barcoding, fish diet, monitoring tool, shallow lakes
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Freshwater Ecology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
UTAS Author:Barmuta, LA (Associate Professor Leon Barmuta)
ID Code:111980
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2016-10-18
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:152 View Download Statistics

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