LANDKLIF - Bavaria-wide climate and biodiversity research

(flickr); Leptogaster cylindrica © Fritz Geller-Grimm; Stenobothrus eurasius © Christian Roesti (Orthoptera.ch) Copyrights: Chorthippus parallelus © Göran Liljeberg; Lissonota coracina © James Lindsey (Ecology of Commanster); Anthomyia liturata © Dick Belgers (waarneming.nl); Dipogon bifasciatus © Josef Dvorak (biolib.cz); Blaesoxipha plumicornis © Steven Falk

In this Bavaria-wide project, malaise traps were set up at a total of 180 trap locations during three months (May / June / July). The samples were consequently analyzed with our metabarcoding service and visualized in a biodiversity network across four habitat locations using our data science.

We performed a network-based analysis on Malaise trap samples obtained from 179 locations in forest, meadow, arable field, and settlement habitats across Bavaria. The sampling was carried out in May, June, and July 2019. The three networks generated for each month visualize temporal fluctuations of collected taxa (grey nodes) and associate them with the habitat types (colored nodes: forest = green; meadow = pink; arable field = red; settlement = blue). Samples that have more taxa in common cluster closer together, or even form groups. The size of a node is proportional to its number of edges. If, for instance, a green node (i.e., forest-located Malaise trap) is larger than another node, it follows that more taxa are significantly (G-test of independence; p < 0.001) associated with this sample. On the other hand, if a grey node (i.e., taxon) co-occurs more often within the network, it has more edges in common with different sample sites and is therefore larger in size.

Here, Megaselia spec. (BOLD:AAG3266) reveals the most abundant genus across all habitats in May, whereas for June and July Chorthippus parallelus (inter alia BOLD:AAC3399) represents the most dominant species by far. Overall, we assigned a total of 3.828 taxa and 60.314 edges to habitat samples and collected species for May, 4.516 taxa and 75.487 edges for June, and 4.149 taxa with a total of 77.752 edges for July.

To emphasize temporal changes, we highlighted several species that are significantly associated (LDA Effect Size1; p ≤ 0.05) with a particular habitat across Bavaria. Namely, we generated barplots showing the presence of some characteristic species: Lissonota coracina (BOLD:ACJ3513) for agricultural areas, Dipogon bifasciatus (BOLD:ABU9027) for forest, and Trachysiphonella scutellata (BOLD:ACQ9206) for urban areas. Additionally, we illustrated the approximate locations of all Malaise traps on the overlaid map of Bavaria.

Some examples of biomarker species for May in different habitats are as follows – forest: Priocnemis perturbator (BOLD:AAN3827); meadow: Heleomyza serrata (BOLD:ABX8716); arable field: Lissonota coracina (BOLD:ACJ3513); and settlement: Cricotopus rufiventris (BOLD:AAM5377).

Furthermore, example biomarker species for June are as follows – forest: Dipogon bifasciatus (BOLD:ABU9027); meadow: Exetastes geniculosus (BOLD:ACI4142); arable field: Anthomyia liturata (BOLD:ACE4539); and settlement: Celypha striana (BOLD:AAC1559). Finally, examples of biomarker species for July are as follows – forest: Stictoleptura rubra (BOLD:AAI8975); meadow: Blaesoxipha plumicornis (BOLD:ACD2673); arable field: Leptogaster cylindrica (BOLD:ACB5185); and settlement: Trachysiphonella scutellata (BOLD:ACQ9206).

DNA metabarcoding can be a meaningful tool in biodiversity monitoring. Indicator species for land-use, individual communities and changes in biodiversity can be shown and large datasets can be visualized in comprehensive graphs.

1Segata N, Izard J, Waldron L, et al. Metagenomic biomarker discovery and explanation. Genome Biol. 2011;12(6):R60. Published 2011 Jun 24. doi:10.1186/gb-2011-12-6-r60.

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