DNA Metabarcoding to quantify the response of insect diversity to mountain forest die-offs in the French Pyrenees

 

 

L. Sire, R. Rougerie, L. Larrieu, A. Bézier, B. Courtial, C. Bouget, E. Herniou, C. Lopez-Vaamonde

 

Abstract

 

Mountain forests suffer from an increase in frequency and severity of summer droughts and infestations of pathogens and insects.  Those factors are causing high mortality of some keystone tree species (forest die-offs).  Yet, how tree diebacks and associated changes in forest composition will affect local diversity and ecosystem functions remains unknown. Here, we aim at quantifying the impact of climate-induced forest decline on biodiversity by measuring  changes  in  taxonomic  structure  of  invertebrate  communities  along  gradients  of silver fir ( Abies alba ) dieback in the French Pyrenees.

 

We  use  DNA  metabarcoding  to  analyse  224  samples  of  Malaise  traps  placed  on  56  silver fir dominated plots in the French Pyrenees from May to September 2017.  Samples were se- quenced using Illumina MiSeq and analysed using the DAMe twin-tagging pipeline approach. We conducted taxonomic assignment against reference DNA barcode libraries to streamline identification and recover biological information for ecological analysis. We  discuss  the  results  of  our  metabarcoding  analysis  and  the  utility  of  our  approach  to conduct biomonitoring across a large geographical scale.

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