Environmental DNA metabarcoding reveals distinct fish assemblages supported by seagrass (Zostera marina and Zostera pacifica) beds in different geographic settings in Southern California
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Environmental DNA metabarcoding reveals distinct fish assemblages supported by seagrass (Zostera marina and Zostera pacifica) beds in different geographic settings in Southern California

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Details:

  • Journal Title:
    PLOS ONE
  • Personal Author:
  • NOAA Program & Office:
  • Description:
    Seagrass beds are disappearing at a record pace despite their known value to our oceans and coastal communities. Simultaneously, our coastlines are under the constant pressure of climate change which is impacting their chemical, physical and biological characteristics. It is thus pertinent to evaluate and record habitat use so we can understand how these different environments contribute to local biodiversity. This study evaluates the assemblages of fish found at five Zostera beds in Southern California using environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding. eDNA is a powerful biodiversity monitoring tool that offers key advantages to conventional monitoring. Results from our eDNA study found 78 species of fish that inhabit these five beds around Southern California representing embayment, open coastal mainland and open coastal island settings. While each bed had the same average number of species found throughout the year, the composition of these fish assemblages was strongly site dependent. There were 35 fish that were found at both open coast and embayment seagrass beds, while embayment seagrass sites had 20 unique fish and open coast sites had 23 unique fish. These results demonstrate that seagrass fish assemblages are heterogenous based on their geographic positioning and that marine managers must take this into account for holistic conservation and restoration efforts.
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  • Source:
    PLOS ONE, 18(10), e0286228
  • DOI:
  • ISSN:
    1932-6203
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  • Publisher:
  • Pubmed ID:
    37796915
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC10553302
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  • License:
  • Rights Information:
    CC0 Public Domain
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    Library
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