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Field calibration of blowfly-derived DNA against traditional methods for assessing mammal diversity in tropical forests

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Version 1 2017-08-04, 12:47
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-13, 10:52 authored by P-S Lee, HM Gan, GR Clements, J-J Wilson
Mammal diversity assessments based on DNA derived from invertebrates have been suggested as alternatives to assessments based on traditional methods; however, no study has field-tested both approaches simultaneously. In Peninsular Malaysia, we calibrated the performance of mammal DNA derived from blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) against traditional methods used to detect species. We first compared five methods (cage trapping, mist netting, hair trapping, scat collection, and blowfly-derived DNA) in a forest reserve with no recent reports of megafauna. Blowfly-derived DNA and mist netting detected the joint highest number of species (n = 6). Only one species was detected by multiple methods. Compared to the other methods, blowfly-derived DNA detected both volant and non-volant species. In another forest reserve, rich in megafauna, we calibrated blowfly-derived DNA against camera traps. Blowfly-derived DNA detected more species (n = 11) than camera traps (n = 9), with only one species detected by both methods. The rarefaction curve indicated that blowfly-derived DNA would continue to detect more species with greater sampling effort. With further calibration, blowfly-derived DNA may join the list of traditional field methods. Areas for further investigation include blowfly feeding and dispersal biology, primer biases, and the assembly of a comprehensive and taxonomically-consistent DNA barcode reference library.

History

Journal

Genome

Volume

59

Pagination

1008-1022

Location

Ottawa, Ont.

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

0831-2796

eISSN

1480-3321

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, The Authors

Issue

11

Publisher

NRC Research Press