Revealing higher than expected meiofaunal diversity in Antarctic sediments: A metabarcoding approach

Fonseca, V. G., Sinniger, F., Gaspar, J. M., Quince, C., Creer, S., Power, Deborah M., Peck, Lloyd S. and Clark, Melody S. (2017) Revealing higher than expected meiofaunal diversity in Antarctic sediments: A metabarcoding approach. Scientific Reports, 7. ISSN 2045-2322

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An increasing number of studies are showing that Antarctic mega- and macrofauna are highly diverse, however, little is known about meiofaunal biodiversity in sediment communities, which are a vital part of a healthy and functional ecosystem. This is the first study to analyse community DNA (targeting meiofauna) using metabarcoding to investigate biodiversity levels in sediment communities of the Antarctic Peninsula. The results show that almost all of the meiofaunal biodiversity in the benthic habitat has yet to be characterised, levels of biodiversity were higher than expected and similar to temperate regions, albeit with the existence of potentially new and locally adapted species never described before at the molecular level. The Rothera meiofaunal sample sites showed four dominant eukaryotic groups, the nematodes, arthropods, platyhelminthes, and the annelids; some of which could comprise species complexes. Comparisons with deep-sea data from the same region suggest little exchange of Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) between depths with the nematodes prevalent at all depths, but sharing the shallow water benthos with the copepods. This study provides a preliminary analysis of benthic Antarctic Peninsula meiofauna using high throughput sequencing which substantiates how little is known on the biodiversity of one of the most diverse, yet underexplored communities of the Antarctic: the benthos.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This paper was financed by NERC core funding to BAS within the Polar Sciences for Planet Earth Programme (MSC and LSP) and a NERC Antarctic Funding Initiative Collaborative Gearing Scheme to SC (No 57). VGF and DMP were supported by CCMAR core funding from the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT. UID/Multi/04326/2013). VGF would like to thank the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) for a post-doctoral grant (SFRH/BPD/80447/2014). FS was supported by the European Community FP7 Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship project MARMEDIV (no. 253251). Publisher Copyright: © 2017 The Author(s).
Uncontrolled Keywords: general ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1000
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2022 15:31
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2024 03:20
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-06687-x

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