Current biodiversity loss is a major concern and thus biodiversity assessment of modern ecosystems is compelling and needs to be contextualized on a longer timescale. High Throughput Sequencing (HTS) is progressively becoming a major source of data on biodiversity time series. In this multi proxy study, we tested, for the first time, the potential of HTS to estimate plant biodiversity archived in the surface layers of a temperate alpine glacier, amplifying the trnL barcode for vascular plants from eDNA of firn samples. A 573 cm long core was drilled by the Adamello glacier and cut into sections; produced samples were analyzed for physical properties, stable isotope ratio, and plant biodiversity by eDNA metabarcoding and conventional light microscopy analysis. Results highlighted the presence of pollen and plant remains within the distinct layers of snow, firn and ice. While stable isotope ratio showed a scarcely informative pattern, DNA metabarcoding described distinct plant species composition among the different samples, with a broad taxonomic representation of the biodiversity of the catchment area and a high-ranking resolution. New knowledge on climate and plant biodiversity changes of large catchment areas can be obtained by this novel approach, relevant for future estimates of climate change effects.

Varotto, C.; Pindo, M.; Bertoni, E.; Casarotto, C.; Camin, F.; Girardi, M.; Maggi, V.; Cristofori, A. (2021). A pilot study of eDNA metabarcoding to estimate plant biodiversity by an alpine glacier core (Adamello glacier, North Italy). SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 11 (1): 1208. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-79738-5 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/61769

A pilot study of eDNA metabarcoding to estimate plant biodiversity by an alpine glacier core (Adamello glacier, North Italy)

Varotto, C.
Primo
;
Pindo, M.;Camin, F.;Girardi, M;Cristofori, A.
Ultimo
Supervision
2021-01-01

Abstract

Current biodiversity loss is a major concern and thus biodiversity assessment of modern ecosystems is compelling and needs to be contextualized on a longer timescale. High Throughput Sequencing (HTS) is progressively becoming a major source of data on biodiversity time series. In this multi proxy study, we tested, for the first time, the potential of HTS to estimate plant biodiversity archived in the surface layers of a temperate alpine glacier, amplifying the trnL barcode for vascular plants from eDNA of firn samples. A 573 cm long core was drilled by the Adamello glacier and cut into sections; produced samples were analyzed for physical properties, stable isotope ratio, and plant biodiversity by eDNA metabarcoding and conventional light microscopy analysis. Results highlighted the presence of pollen and plant remains within the distinct layers of snow, firn and ice. While stable isotope ratio showed a scarcely informative pattern, DNA metabarcoding described distinct plant species composition among the different samples, with a broad taxonomic representation of the biodiversity of the catchment area and a high-ranking resolution. New knowledge on climate and plant biodiversity changes of large catchment areas can be obtained by this novel approach, relevant for future estimates of climate change effects.
Pollen
Environmental DNA
Ice core
Stable isotope ratio
NGS
Settore BIO/03 - BOTANICA AMBIENTALE E APPLICATA
2021
Varotto, C.; Pindo, M.; Bertoni, E.; Casarotto, C.; Camin, F.; Girardi, M.; Maggi, V.; Cristofori, A. (2021). A pilot study of eDNA metabarcoding to estimate plant biodiversity by an alpine glacier core (Adamello glacier, North Italy). SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 11 (1): 1208. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-79738-5 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/61769
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