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Article Dans Une Revue Conservation Biology Année : 2021

Use of environmental DNA in assessment of fish functional and phylogenetic diversity

Andrea Polanco Fernandez
  • Fonction : Auteur
Giomar Helena Borrero-Perez
  • Fonction : Auteur
Tom Bech Letessier
  • Fonction : Auteur
Sandra Bessudo
  • Fonction : Auteur
Alice Valentini


Assessing the impact of global changes and protection effectiveness is a key step in monitoring marine fishes. Most traditional census methods are demanding or destructive. Nondisturbing and nonlethal approaches based on video and environmental DNA are alternatives to underwater visual census or fishing. However, their ability to detect multiple biodiversity factors beyond traditional taxonomic diversity is still unknown. For bony fishes and elasmobranchs, we compared the performance of eDNA metabarcoding and long-term remote video to assess species' phylogenetic and functional diversity. We used 10 eDNA samples from 30 L of water each and 25 hr of underwater videos over 4 days on Malpelo Island (pacific coast of Colombia), a remote marine protected area. Metabarcoding of eDNA detected 66% more molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) than species on video. We found 66 and 43 functional entities with a single eDNA marker and videos, respectively, and higher functional richness for eDNA than videos. Despite gaps in genetic reference databases, eDNA also detected a higher fish phylogenetic diversity than videos; accumulation curves showed how 1 eDNA transect detected as much phylogenetic diversity as 25 hr of video. Environmental DNA metabarcoding can be used to affordably, efficiently, and accurately census biodiversity factors in marine systems. Although taxonomic assignments are still limited by species coverage in genetic reference databases, use of MOTUs highlights the potential of eDNA metabarcoding once reference databases have expanded.
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Dates et versions

hal-03451172 , version 1 (07-10-2022)



Virginie Marques, Paul Castagne, Andrea Polanco Fernandez, Giomar Helena Borrero-Perez, Régis Hocdé, et al.. Use of environmental DNA in assessment of fish functional and phylogenetic diversity. Conservation Biology, 2021, ⟨10.1111/cobi.13802⟩. ⟨hal-03451172⟩
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