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Abstract Detail

4D Botany of the Anthropogenic Environment

Nichols, Ruth [1], Heintzman, Pete [2], Wang, Yue [3], Newsom, Lee [4], Belmechari, Soumaya [5], Green, Edward [6], Vollmers, Christopher [6], Shapiro, Beth [7].

Reconstructing plant communities using DNA metabarcoding.

Understanding how ecosystems change can provide important information for managing biodiversity in the face of predicted future climate change. To this end, soil environmental DNA (eDNA) has been used to characterize plant community compositions in both modern sites and sites throughout the last ice age. Despite the rise in the use of eDNA and metabarcoding, multiple factors that can potentially influence the taxonomic composition of a eDNA sample have yet to be fully explored. In our study, we compared present-day community composition on St. Paul Island, Alaska as inferred from analyses of eDNA with above-ground vegetation surveys and tested the effect of soil volume, number of PCR cycles, number of replicates and amount of sequencing done on the resulting taxonomic composition found via DNA metabarcoding. Importantly, we have found that the metabarcoding reaction itself produces biased results that can severely skew the outcome of a metabarcoding study. We investigate and describe this bias and discuss the ramifications for current metabarcoding studies.

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1 - University of California Santa Cruz, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz, CA, 95060, USA
2 - Tromsų University Museum, Department of Natural Sciences, P. O. box 6050 Langnes, Tromsų, NO-9037, Norway
3 - University of Wisconsin - Madison, Department of Geography, 550 North Park Street, Madison, WI, 53706, USA
4 - Flagler College, Social Sciences, 74 King Street, St. Augustine, FL, 32084, USA
5 - University of Arizona, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, 1215 E. Lowell St., Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA
6 - University of California Santa Cruz, Biomolecular Engineering, 1156 High St, Santa Cruz, CA, 95064, USA
7 - University of California Santa Cruz, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz, CA, 95064, USA

Plant community analysis.

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY1, 4D Botany of the Anthropogenic Environment
Location: Sundance 3/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: SY1003
Abstract ID:438
Candidate for Awards:None

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