Metabarcoding advances for ecology and biogeography of Neotropical protists: what do we know, where do we go?
Keywords:Environmental samples, Freshwater protists, High Throughput Sequencing, Neotropics, Microorganism, Operational taxonomic units, Soil protistan biodiversity
AbstractAbstract: The Neotropics is one of the most diverse regions of the globe in terms of plants and animal species. Regarding the microbial world, however, little is known about the diversity and biogeography patterns of microorganisms in the Neotropics. The biogeography of several microbial taxonomic groups is still missing and/or incomplete, such as the protists. Despite the hard taxonomic identification of protists, the advance of molecular techniques (e.g., metabarcoding) have allowed to better explore the distribution of several protistan groups. Our goal here was to summarize the available information of Neotropical protists, focusing on metabarcoding studies, to explore what these data evidence on their ecology and biogeography. For this, we reviewed the findings from all articles that focused on or included the terrestrial protists using a metabarcoding approach and identified the gaps and future perspectives in this research field. We found that Neotropical protistan diversity patterns seem to be, at least in part, congruent with that of macro-organisms and, different than plants and bacteria, just weakly explained by environmental variables. We argue that studies with standardized protocols including different ecoregions are necessary, such as temperate forests, grasslands, and savannas from Southern of South America and Northern Atlantic Forest, to fully characterize the ecology and biogeography on Neotropical protists. Furthermore, dismembering evolutionary lineages and functional guilds of protists are important to better understand the relationship between diversity, dispersal abilities, and functionality of particular taxa of protists in their habitats.
How to Cite
Ritter, C. D., Machado, A. F., Ribeiro, K. F., & Dunthorn, M. (2021). Metabarcoding advances for ecology and biogeography of Neotropical protists: what do we know, where do we go?. Biota Neotropica, 21(4). Retrieved from //www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/1866
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