Data_Sheet_6_Environmental DNA Metabarcoding for Simultaneous Monitoring and Ecological Assessment of Many Harmful Algae.CSV (0.26 kB)
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Data_Sheet_6_Environmental DNA Metabarcoding for Simultaneous Monitoring and Ecological Assessment of Many Harmful Algae.CSV

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posted on 17.05.2021, 04:49 by Emily Jacobs-Palmer, Ramón Gallego, Kelly Cribari, Abigail G. Keller, Ryan P. Kelly

Harmful algae can have profound economic, environmental, and social consequences. As the timing, frequency, and severity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) change alongside global climate, efficient tools to monitor and understand the current ecological context of these taxa are increasingly important. Here we employ environmental DNA metabarcoding to identify patterns in a wide variety of potentially harmful algae and associated ecological communities in the Hood Canal of Puget Sound in Washington State, USA. Tracking trends of occurrence in a series of water samples over a period of 19 months, we find algal sequences from genera with harmful members in a majority of samples, suggesting that these groups are routinely present in local waters. We report patterns in variants of the economically important genus Pseudo-nitzschia (of which some members produce domoic acid; family Bacillariaceae), as well as multiple potentially harmful algal taxa previously unknown or poorly documented in the region, including a cold-water variant from the genus Alexandrium (of which some members produce saxitoxin; family Gonyaulacaceae), two variants from the genus Karlodinium (of which some members produce karlotoxins; family Kareniaceae), and one variant from the parasitic genus Hematodinium (family Syndiniaceae). We then use data on environmental variables and the biological community surrounding each algal taxon to illustrate the ecological context in which they are commonly found. Environmental DNA metabarcoding thus simultaneously (1) alerts us to potential new or cryptic occurrences of algae from harmful genera, (2) expands our knowledge of the co-occurring conditions and species associated with the growth of these organisms in changing marine environments, and (3) suggests a pathway for multispecies monitoring and management moving forward.

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