Mar 31, 2020

Assessing the impact of the threatened crucian carp (Carassius carassius) on pond invertebrate diversity - a comparison of conventional and molecular tools

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Kerin K HigaXianjin Zhou

Abstract

Fishes stocked for recreation and angling can damage freshwater habitats and negatively impact biodiversity. The pond-associated crucian carp (Carassius carassius) is rare across Europe and stocked for conservation management in England, but impacts on pond biota are understudied. Freshwater invertebrates contribute substantially to aquatic biodiversity, encompassing many rare and endemic species, but small size and high abundance complicates their assessment. Practitioners have employed sweep-netting and kick-net sampling with microscopy, but specimen size/quality and experience can bias identification. DNA and eDNA metabarcoding offer alternative means of invertebrate assessment. We compared invertebrate diversity in ponds (N = 18) with and without crucian carp using sweep-netting and microscopy, DNA metabarcoding, and eDNA metabarcoding. Five 2-L water samples and 4-minute sweep-net samples were collected at each pond. Inventories produced by morphotaxonomic identification of netted samples, DNA metabarcoding of bulk tissue samples, and eDNA metabarcoding of water samples were compared. Alpha diversity was greatest with DNA or eDNA metabarcoding, depending on whether standard or unbiased methods were considered. DNA metabarc...Continue Reading

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