eCite Digital Repository

Cross-ocean patterns and processes in fish biodiversity on coral reefs through the lens of eDNA metabarcoding


Mathon, L and Marques, V and Mouillot, D and Albouy, C and Andrello, M and Baletaud, F and Borrero-Perez, GH and Dejean, T and Edgar, GJ and Grondin, J and Guerin, PE and Hocde, R and Juhel, JB and Kadarusman, K and Maire, E and Mariani, G and McLean, M and Polanco F, A and Pouyaud, L and Stuart-Smith, RD and Sugeha, HY and Valentini, A and Vigliola, L and Vimono, IB and Pellissier, L and Manel, S, Cross-ocean patterns and processes in fish biodiversity on coral reefs through the lens of eDNA metabarcoding, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 289, (1973) Article 20220162. ISSN 0962-8452 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2022 The Author(s).

DOI: doi:10.1098/rspb.2022.0162


Increasing speed and magnitude of global change threaten the world's biodiversity and particularly coral reef fishes. A better understanding of large-scale patterns and processes on coral reefs is essential to prevent fish biodiversity decline but it requires new monitoring approaches. Here, we use environmental DNA metabarcoding to reconstruct well-known patterns of fish biodiversity on coral reefs and uncover hidden patterns on these highly diverse and threatened ecosystems. We analysed 226 environmental DNA (eDNA) seawater samples from 100 stations in five tropical regions (Caribbean, Central and Southwest Pacific, Coral Triangle and Western Indian Ocean) and compared those to 2047 underwater visual censuses from the Reef Life Survey in 1224 stations. Environmental DNA reveals a higher (16%) fish biodiversity, with 2650 taxa, and 25% more families than underwater visual surveys. By identifying more pelagic, reef-associated and crypto-benthic species, eDNA offers a fresh view on assembly rules across spatial scales. Nevertheless, the reef life survey identified more species than eDNA in 47 shared families, which can be due to incomplete sequence assignment, possibly combined with incomplete detection in the environment, for some species. Combining eDNA metabarcoding and extensive visual census offers novel insights on the spatial organization of the richest marine ecosystems.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:eDNA metabarcoding, coral reef fish, biogeographic patterns, visual census
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Edgar, GJ (Professor Graham Edgar)
UTAS Author:Stuart-Smith, RD (Dr Rick Stuart-Smith)
ID Code:150882
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-07-04
Last Modified:2022-08-04

Repository Staff Only: item control page