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Metagenetic analysis of patterns of distribution and diversity of marine meiobenthic eukaryotes

Metagenetic analysis of patterns of distribution and diversity of marine meiobenthic eukaryotes
Metagenetic analysis of patterns of distribution and diversity of marine meiobenthic eukaryotes
Aim:
Meiofaunal communities that inhabit the marine benthos offer unique opportunities to simultaneously study the macroecology of numerous phyla that exhibit different life-history strategies. Here, we ask: (1) if the macroecology of meiobenthic communities is explained mainly by dispersal constraints or by environmental conditions; and (2) if levels of meiofaunal diversity surpass existing estimates based on morphological taxonomy.

Location:
UK and mainland European coast.

Methods:
Next-generation sequencing techniques (NGS; Roche 454 FLX platform) using 18S nuclear small subunit ribosomal DNA (rDNA) gene. Pyrosequences were analysed using AmpliconNoise followed by chimera removal using Perseus.

Results:
Rarefaction curves revealed that sampling saturation was only reached at 15% of sites, highlighting that the bulk of meiofaunal diversity is yet to be discovered. Overall, 1353 OTUs were recovered and assigned to 23 different phyla. The majority of sampled sites had c. 60–70 unique operational taxonomic units (OTUs) per site, indicating high levels of beta diversity. The environmental parameters that best explained community structure were seawater temperature, geographical distance and sediment size, but most of the variability (R2?=?70%–80%) remains unexplained.

Main conclusions:
High percentages of endemic OTUs suggest that meiobenthic community composition is partly niche-driven, as observed in larger organisms, but also shares macroecological features of microorganisms by showing high levels of cosmopolitanism (albeit on a much smaller scale). Meiobenthic communities exhibited patterns of isolation by distance as well as associations between niche, latitude and temperature, indicating that meiobenthic communities result from a combination of niche assembly and dispersal processes. Conversely, isolation-by-distance patterns were not identified in the featured protists, suggesting that animals and protists adhere to radically different macroecological processes, linked to life-history strategies.
454 Roche pyrosequencing, environmental metagenetics, macroecology, marine eukaryotes, meiofauna, metabarcoding, microscopic biodiversity, next-generation sequencing
1466-822X
1293-1302
Fonseca, Vera G.
6fabd0f1-4108-425e-ae17-d80cbaefcce8
Carvalho, Gary R.
fe03b393-a1af-4639-8a93-684e58d3434a
Nichols, Ben
2a921f97-c68d-4608-9fb6-ae5ec3a4aa83
Quince, Christopher
b510885c-b245-4d2d-8990-35e456880c0b
Johnson, Harriet F.
e5dcf588-d92b-4c5f-973d-d36eed83fd66
Neill, Simon P.
93fea49b-21f9-4202-9908-d4fcd815c544
Lambshead, John D.
fe845f6c-a28f-4e4b-b64f-cee2f83bdffc
Thomas, W. Kelley
9ae8fc0e-1b87-4b62-8e35-3dcdd6168a3c
Power, Deborah M.
96dc370f-0efb-42ab-bb89-55767f2bf1ea
Creer, Simon
d032cd75-9ed6-4bb8-b55b-926afb575321
Fonseca, Vera G.
6fabd0f1-4108-425e-ae17-d80cbaefcce8
Carvalho, Gary R.
fe03b393-a1af-4639-8a93-684e58d3434a
Nichols, Ben
2a921f97-c68d-4608-9fb6-ae5ec3a4aa83
Quince, Christopher
b510885c-b245-4d2d-8990-35e456880c0b
Johnson, Harriet F.
e5dcf588-d92b-4c5f-973d-d36eed83fd66
Neill, Simon P.
93fea49b-21f9-4202-9908-d4fcd815c544
Lambshead, John D.
fe845f6c-a28f-4e4b-b64f-cee2f83bdffc
Thomas, W. Kelley
9ae8fc0e-1b87-4b62-8e35-3dcdd6168a3c
Power, Deborah M.
96dc370f-0efb-42ab-bb89-55767f2bf1ea
Creer, Simon
d032cd75-9ed6-4bb8-b55b-926afb575321

Fonseca, Vera G., Carvalho, Gary R., Nichols, Ben, Quince, Christopher, Johnson, Harriet F., Neill, Simon P., Lambshead, John D., Thomas, W. Kelley, Power, Deborah M. and Creer, Simon (2014) Metagenetic analysis of patterns of distribution and diversity of marine meiobenthic eukaryotes. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 23 (11), 1293-1302. (doi:10.1111/geb.12223).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aim:
Meiofaunal communities that inhabit the marine benthos offer unique opportunities to simultaneously study the macroecology of numerous phyla that exhibit different life-history strategies. Here, we ask: (1) if the macroecology of meiobenthic communities is explained mainly by dispersal constraints or by environmental conditions; and (2) if levels of meiofaunal diversity surpass existing estimates based on morphological taxonomy.

Location:
UK and mainland European coast.

Methods:
Next-generation sequencing techniques (NGS; Roche 454 FLX platform) using 18S nuclear small subunit ribosomal DNA (rDNA) gene. Pyrosequences were analysed using AmpliconNoise followed by chimera removal using Perseus.

Results:
Rarefaction curves revealed that sampling saturation was only reached at 15% of sites, highlighting that the bulk of meiofaunal diversity is yet to be discovered. Overall, 1353 OTUs were recovered and assigned to 23 different phyla. The majority of sampled sites had c. 60–70 unique operational taxonomic units (OTUs) per site, indicating high levels of beta diversity. The environmental parameters that best explained community structure were seawater temperature, geographical distance and sediment size, but most of the variability (R2?=?70%–80%) remains unexplained.

Main conclusions:
High percentages of endemic OTUs suggest that meiobenthic community composition is partly niche-driven, as observed in larger organisms, but also shares macroecological features of microorganisms by showing high levels of cosmopolitanism (albeit on a much smaller scale). Meiobenthic communities exhibited patterns of isolation by distance as well as associations between niche, latitude and temperature, indicating that meiobenthic communities result from a combination of niche assembly and dispersal processes. Conversely, isolation-by-distance patterns were not identified in the featured protists, suggesting that animals and protists adhere to radically different macroecological processes, linked to life-history strategies.

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More information

Published date: November 2014
Keywords: 454 Roche pyrosequencing, environmental metagenetics, macroecology, marine eukaryotes, meiofauna, metabarcoding, microscopic biodiversity, next-generation sequencing
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 372403
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/372403
ISSN: 1466-822X
PURE UUID: 4a8a89ee-5789-4633-8271-d9470ff2931c

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Date deposited: 02 Dec 2014 17:02
Last modified: 02 Dec 2019 20:39

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Contributors

Author: Vera G. Fonseca
Author: Gary R. Carvalho
Author: Ben Nichols
Author: Christopher Quince
Author: Harriet F. Johnson
Author: Simon P. Neill
Author: John D. Lambshead
Author: W. Kelley Thomas
Author: Deborah M. Power
Author: Simon Creer

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