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From DNA barcodes to ecology: meta-analysis of central European beetles reveal link with species ecology but also to data pattern and gaps
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  • Sara Ottati,
  • Jonas Eberle,
  • Frank Köhler,
  • Björn Rulik,
  • Dirk Ahrens
Sara Ottati
Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig
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Jonas Eberle
Paris Lodron University of Salzburg
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Frank Köhler
n/a
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Björn Rulik
Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig
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Dirk Ahrens
Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig
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Abstract

DNA barcoding has been used worldwide to identify biological specimens and to delimit species. It represents a cost-effective, fast and efficient way to assess biodiversity with help of the public Barcode of Life Database (BOLD) accounting for more than 236,000 animal species and more than ten million barcode sequences. Here, we performed a meta-analysis of available barcode data of central European Coleoptera to detect intraspecific genetic patterns among ecological groups in relation to geographic distance with the aim to investigate a possible link between infraspecific variation and species ecology. We collected information regarding feeding style, body size as well as habitat and biotope preferences. Mantel tests and two variants of Procrustes analysis, both involving the Principal Coordinates Neighborhood Matrices (PCNM) approach, were applied on genetic and geographic distance matrices. However, significance levels were too low to further use the outcome for further trait investigation: these were in mean for all ecological guilds only 7.5, 9.4, or 15.6 % for PCNM+PCA, NMDS+PCA, and Mantel test, respectively, or at best 28% for a single guild. Our study confirmed that certain ecological traits were associated with higher species diversity and foster stronger genetic differentiation. Results suggest that increased numbers of species, sampling localities, and specimens for a chosen area of interest may give new insights to explore barcode data and species ecology for the scope of conservation on a larger scale.
12 Sep 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
13 Sep 2022Assigned to Editor
13 Sep 2022Submission Checks Completed
13 Sep 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned