Crabs, scallops, fish, and more: barcoding the marine fauna of the North Sea

Raupach, Michael, Barco, Andrea, Beermann, Jan, Kieneke, Alexander, Laakmann, Silke, Mohrbeck, Inga and Neumann, Hermann (2015) Crabs, scallops, fish, and more: barcoding the marine fauna of the North Sea Genome, 58 (5). p. 270.

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Background: During the last years, the effectiveness of DNA barcoding for animal species identification has been proven in many studies, analyzing both vertebrate and invertebrate taxa. In terms of marine organisms, however, most barcoding studies typically focus on economically relevant species, for example, fish, as well asonthedocumentationof hotspots of species diversity, for example, tropical coral reefs or regions of the almost unexplored deep sea regions. In contrast to this, species diversity of “well-known” habitats is nearly neglected. As part of our running project we started to
build up a comprehensive DNA barcode library for the metazoan taxa of the North Sea, one of the most extensively studied ecosystems of the world. The North Sea is characterized by a highamountof anthropogenic pressure such
as intensive fishing and ship traffic as well as offshore installations. Environmental parameters (e.g., depth, sediment characteristics, temperature, and salinity) of this semi-enclosed shelf sea follow a distinct pattern: high seasonal fluctuations can be observed in southern areas, but low fluctuations
are given in the northern regions. This heterogeneity is also displayed in macrobenthic community structures, with a lower number of species in the shallow southern parts (i.e., the German Bight) and more species in the
central and northern North Sea. In addition to this, species with a typical Mediterranean-Lusitanean distribution are also known to occur in parts of the North Sea where oceanic influences prevail.
Results: Our barcode library includes a broad variety of taxa, including typical taxa of marine barcoding studies, for example, fish or decapod crustaceans. Our on-growing library
also includes groups that are often ignored as cnidarians, parasitic crustaceans, echinoderms, mollusks, pantopods, polychaets, and others. In total, our library includes more than 4200 DNA barcodes of more than 600 species at the moment. By using the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD), unique BINs were identified for more than 90% of the analyzed species. Significance:
Our data represent a first step towards the establishment of a comprehensive DNA barcode
library of the Metazoa of the North Sea. Despite the fact that various taxa are still missing or are currently underrepresented, our
results clearly underline the usefulness of DNA barcodes to discriminate the vast majority of the analyzed species. It should be also kept in mind that the benefits of DNA barcoding are not restricted to taxonomic or systematic research only. The rise of modern high-throughput sequencing technologies will change biomonitoring applications and surveys significantly in the coming years. Following this, reference datasets such as ours will become essential for a correct identification of specimens sequenced as part of a metabarcoding study. This is especially true for the North Sea, a marine region that has been massively affected by cargo ship traffic, the exploitation of oil and gas resources, offshore wind parks, and in particular extensive
long-term fisheries.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Scientific abstracts from the 6th International Barcode of Life Conference
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0831-2796
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2015 12:44
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2016 07:24

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