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Abstract Detail

Frontiers in Botany: Environmental DNA as an Emerging Tool for Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Plant Biodiversity

Meyer, Rachel [1], Lin, Meixi [2], Ballare, Kimberly [3], Bregoff, Haylee [3], Munguia Ramos, Miroslava [2], Worth, Anna [3], Nava, Hailey [3], Fairbairn, Colin [3], Turba, Rachel [2], Orland, ChloĆ© [3], Shirazi, Sabrina [3], Newcomer, Michelle [4], Stavros, E Natasha [5], Hestir, Erin [6], Wayne, Robert K [2], Shapiro, Beth [3].

Understanding California’s floristic patterns across habitats and through wildfires and restoration with environmental DNA and citizen science .

Biomonitoring technologies such as environmental eDNA (eDNA), are on the cusp of revolutionizing ecological theory and science. eDNA measured in soil, sediment, and water, provides a snapshot of unique and novel biotic communities that are potentially representative of the state of environmental systems supporting their existence. When the biodiversity inferred from eDNA is analyzed in predictive models, correlation between biotic and abiotic factors emerge that shift our foundational understanding of the drivers of species distribution and community ecology. Here, we leverage the CALeDNA citizen and community science program– environmental collections and multilocus metabarcoding data from 6 markers – to interpret factors that influence community composition in California. We summarize the findings from four studies. First, we show we can somewhat predict vegetation across the entire state from 278 volunteer-collected eDNA samples and public Earth observations. Second, we compare plant and algal community turnover along two rivers, one urban (Los Angeles River) and one rural (Russian River), to ask how riparian vegetation shapes aquatic biodiversity patterning. Third, we measure the post-wildfire impact and community reassembly process in the Santa Monica Mountains terrestrial parks and coastal lagoons, where the vegetative ecology is a fragile amalgamation of endemic and invasive, fire-adaptive species. Fourth, we use eDNA to watch biodiversity return after invasive species removal in two desert oases. While these grassroots studies show how eDNA lab assays and analyses face technical and logistical challenges to monitor natural systems, they also show that eDNA research, empowered by volunteers, complements remote sensing and hydrobiogeochemical data. Together, these biodiversity patterns promise to underpin future strategic biomonitoring efforts.

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Related Links:

1 - University of California Santa Cruz, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1303 McAllister Way, Coastal Biology Building rm 242, Santa Cruz, California, 95060, USA
2 - University of California Los Angeles
3 - University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, 95060, United States
4 - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division
5 - University of Colorado Boulder, Earth Lab, Cooperative Institute for Research on Environmental Sciences (CIRES)
6 - University of California Merced, Civil & Environmental Engineering

beta diversity
plant community
community ecology

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY3, Frontiers in Botany: Environmental DNA as an Emerging Tool for Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Plant Biodiversity
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 1:30 PM(EDT)
Number: SY3009
Abstract ID:1088
Candidate for Awards:None

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