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Exploring the Leaf Beetle Fauna (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) of an Ecuadorian Mountain Forest Using DNA Barcoding

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-167253
  • Background Tropical mountain forests are hotspots of biodiversity hosting a huge but little known diversity of insects that is endangered by habitat destruction and climate change. Therefore, rapid assessment approaches of insect diversity are urgently needed to complement slower traditional taxonomic approaches. We empirically compare different DNA-based species delimitation approaches for a rapid biodiversity assessment of hyperdiverse leaf beetle assemblages along an elevational gradient in southern Ecuador and explore their effect onBackground Tropical mountain forests are hotspots of biodiversity hosting a huge but little known diversity of insects that is endangered by habitat destruction and climate change. Therefore, rapid assessment approaches of insect diversity are urgently needed to complement slower traditional taxonomic approaches. We empirically compare different DNA-based species delimitation approaches for a rapid biodiversity assessment of hyperdiverse leaf beetle assemblages along an elevational gradient in southern Ecuador and explore their effect on species richness estimates. Methodology/Principal Findings Based on a COI barcode data set of 674 leaf beetle specimens (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) of 266 morphospecies from three sample sites in the Podocarpus National Park, we employed statistical parsimony analysis, distance-based clustering, GMYC- and PTP-modelling to delimit species-like units and compared them to morphology-based (parataxonomic) species identifications. The four different approaches for DNA-based species delimitation revealed highly similar numbers of molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) (n = 284–289). Estimated total species richness was considerably higher than the sampled amount, 414 for morphospecies (Chao2) and 469–481 for the different MOTU types. Assemblages at different elevational levels (1000 vs. 2000 m) had similar species numbers but a very distinct species composition for all delimitation methods. Most species were found only at one elevation while this turnover pattern was even more pronounced for DNA-based delimitation. Conclusions/Significance Given the high congruence of DNA-based delimitation results, probably due to the sampling structure, our study suggests that when applied to species communities on a regionally limited level with high amount of rare species (i.e. ~50% singletons), the choice of species delimitation method can be of minor relevance for assessing species numbers and turnover in tropical insect communities. Therefore, DNA-based species delimitation is confirmed as a valuable tool for evaluating biodiversity of hyperdiverse insect communities, especially when exact taxonomic identifications are missing.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author: Birthe Thormann, Dirk Ahrens, Diego Marín Armijos, Marcell K. Peters, Thomas Wagner, Johann W. Wägele
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-167253
Document Type:Journal article
Faculties:Fakultät für Biologie / Theodor-Boveri-Institut für Biowissenschaften
Language:English
Parent Title (English):PLoS ONE
Year of Completion:2016
Volume:11
Issue:2
Pagenumber:e0148268
Source:PLoS ONE 11(2):e0148268 (2016). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148268
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0148268
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Tag:Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae; DNA-based species delimitation; Podocarpus National Park; biodiversity; leaf beetle
Release Date:2019/08/26
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz: Namensnennung 4.0 International