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A primer to metabarcoding surveys of Antarctic terrestrial biodiversity


Czechowski, P and Clarke, LJ and Cooper, A and Stevens, MI, A primer to metabarcoding surveys of Antarctic terrestrial biodiversity, Antarctic Science, 29, (1) pp. 3-15. ISSN 0954-1020 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Antarctic Science Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0954102016000389


Ice-free regions of Antarctica are concentrated along the coastal margins but are scarce throughout the continental interior. Environmental changes, including the introduction of non-indigenous species, increasingly threaten these unique habitats. At the same time, the unique biotic communities subsisting in isolation across the continent are difficult to survey due to logistical constraints, sampling challenges and problems related to the identification of small and cryptic taxa. Baseline biodiversity data from remote Antarctic habitats are still missing for many parts of the continent but are critical to the detection of community changes over time, including newly introduced species. Here we review the potential of standardized (non-specialist) sampling in the field (e.g. from soil, vegetation or water) combined with high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of bulk DNA as a possible solution to overcome some of these problems. In particular, HTS metabarcoding approaches benefit from being able to process many samples in parallel, while workflow and data structure can stay highly uniform. Such approaches have quickly gained recognition and we show that HTS metabarcoding surveys are likely to play an important role in continent-wide biomonitoring of all Antarctic terrestrial habitats.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biomonitoring, conservation, cryptic taxa, high-throughput sequencing, invasive taxa
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Microbial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
UTAS Author:Clarke, LJ (Dr Laurence Clarke)
ID Code:114583
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2017-02-20
Last Modified:2018-07-27

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