Limits...
Molecular detection of trophic interactions: emerging trends, distinct advantages, significant considerations and conservation applications.

Clare EL - Evol Appl (2014)

Bottom Line: In particular, we now have the capacity in some systems to rapidly identify thousands of species-level interactions using non-invasive methods based on the detection of trace DNA.This represents a powerful tool for conservation biology, for example allowing the identification of species with particularly inflexible niches and the investigation of food-webs or interaction networks with unusual or vulnerable dynamics.Here, I describe emerging patterns that have come from the various initial model systems, the advantages and limitations of the technique and key areas where these methods may significantly advance our empirical and applied conservation practices.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London London, UK.

ABSTRACT
The emerging field of ecological genomics contains several broad research areas. Comparative genomic and conservation genetic analyses are providing great insight into adaptive processes, species bottlenecks, population dynamics and areas of conservation priority. Now the same technological advances in high-throughput sequencing, coupled with taxonomically broad sequence repositories, are providing greater resolution and fundamentally new insights into functional ecology. In particular, we now have the capacity in some systems to rapidly identify thousands of species-level interactions using non-invasive methods based on the detection of trace DNA. This represents a powerful tool for conservation biology, for example allowing the identification of species with particularly inflexible niches and the investigation of food-webs or interaction networks with unusual or vulnerable dynamics. As they develop, these analyses will no doubt provide significant advances in the field of restoration ecology and the identification of appropriate locations for species reintroduction, as well as highlighting species at ecological risk. Here, I describe emerging patterns that have come from the various initial model systems, the advantages and limitations of the technique and key areas where these methods may significantly advance our empirical and applied conservation practices.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The accumulation of molecular data to assess species inventories has given us the capacity to assemble high-resolution measures of ecological structure such as food webs. From these, we can measure specific aspects of biological function such as specific cases in functional ecology. However, the analytical continuum should also allow us to use functional ecological principles to predict aspects of network structure, expected species interactions and in turn actually predict or identify missing species from inventories. This last point is critical in conservation biology allowing us to identify key factors promoting species vulnerability or persistence (Photographs used with permission: M. Brock Fenton).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4231602&req=5

fig04: The accumulation of molecular data to assess species inventories has given us the capacity to assemble high-resolution measures of ecological structure such as food webs. From these, we can measure specific aspects of biological function such as specific cases in functional ecology. However, the analytical continuum should also allow us to use functional ecological principles to predict aspects of network structure, expected species interactions and in turn actually predict or identify missing species from inventories. This last point is critical in conservation biology allowing us to identify key factors promoting species vulnerability or persistence (Photographs used with permission: M. Brock Fenton).

Mentions: Moving towards fully quantified ecological networks will have significant impact on both functional ecology and functional genomics and may increasingly unify these fields. The creation of reference taxonomic databases as part of biodiversity inventories has led directly to our ability to generate high-resolution interaction networks. Networks themselves are an excellent method of elucidating biostructure and can serve a dual role. First, they highlight unusual interactions, for example species that are particularly specialized or have extreme characteristics or groups of species convergently acquiring similar characteristics. This feature makes them a perfect way of locating interesting evolutionary patterns and species with particular genomic features associated with trophic roles. Second, well-parameterized networks provide direct information on ecosystem stability, flexibility and capacity for adaptation under environmental change. This component makes them vital for our understanding of functional ecology and conservation biology. Finally, these factors form a natural feedback – better understanding of functional genomics and ecology will predict ecosystem structure and thus biodiversity inventory (Fig.4).


Molecular detection of trophic interactions: emerging trends, distinct advantages, significant considerations and conservation applications.

Clare EL - Evol Appl (2014)

The accumulation of molecular data to assess species inventories has given us the capacity to assemble high-resolution measures of ecological structure such as food webs. From these, we can measure specific aspects of biological function such as specific cases in functional ecology. However, the analytical continuum should also allow us to use functional ecological principles to predict aspects of network structure, expected species interactions and in turn actually predict or identify missing species from inventories. This last point is critical in conservation biology allowing us to identify key factors promoting species vulnerability or persistence (Photographs used with permission: M. Brock Fenton).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4231602&req=5

fig04: The accumulation of molecular data to assess species inventories has given us the capacity to assemble high-resolution measures of ecological structure such as food webs. From these, we can measure specific aspects of biological function such as specific cases in functional ecology. However, the analytical continuum should also allow us to use functional ecological principles to predict aspects of network structure, expected species interactions and in turn actually predict or identify missing species from inventories. This last point is critical in conservation biology allowing us to identify key factors promoting species vulnerability or persistence (Photographs used with permission: M. Brock Fenton).
Mentions: Moving towards fully quantified ecological networks will have significant impact on both functional ecology and functional genomics and may increasingly unify these fields. The creation of reference taxonomic databases as part of biodiversity inventories has led directly to our ability to generate high-resolution interaction networks. Networks themselves are an excellent method of elucidating biostructure and can serve a dual role. First, they highlight unusual interactions, for example species that are particularly specialized or have extreme characteristics or groups of species convergently acquiring similar characteristics. This feature makes them a perfect way of locating interesting evolutionary patterns and species with particular genomic features associated with trophic roles. Second, well-parameterized networks provide direct information on ecosystem stability, flexibility and capacity for adaptation under environmental change. This component makes them vital for our understanding of functional ecology and conservation biology. Finally, these factors form a natural feedback – better understanding of functional genomics and ecology will predict ecosystem structure and thus biodiversity inventory (Fig.4).

Bottom Line: In particular, we now have the capacity in some systems to rapidly identify thousands of species-level interactions using non-invasive methods based on the detection of trace DNA.This represents a powerful tool for conservation biology, for example allowing the identification of species with particularly inflexible niches and the investigation of food-webs or interaction networks with unusual or vulnerable dynamics.Here, I describe emerging patterns that have come from the various initial model systems, the advantages and limitations of the technique and key areas where these methods may significantly advance our empirical and applied conservation practices.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London London, UK.

ABSTRACT
The emerging field of ecological genomics contains several broad research areas. Comparative genomic and conservation genetic analyses are providing great insight into adaptive processes, species bottlenecks, population dynamics and areas of conservation priority. Now the same technological advances in high-throughput sequencing, coupled with taxonomically broad sequence repositories, are providing greater resolution and fundamentally new insights into functional ecology. In particular, we now have the capacity in some systems to rapidly identify thousands of species-level interactions using non-invasive methods based on the detection of trace DNA. This represents a powerful tool for conservation biology, for example allowing the identification of species with particularly inflexible niches and the investigation of food-webs or interaction networks with unusual or vulnerable dynamics. As they develop, these analyses will no doubt provide significant advances in the field of restoration ecology and the identification of appropriate locations for species reintroduction, as well as highlighting species at ecological risk. Here, I describe emerging patterns that have come from the various initial model systems, the advantages and limitations of the technique and key areas where these methods may significantly advance our empirical and applied conservation practices.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus