Event Title

Analyzing Anthropogenic Effects on Sandy Beaches and Meiofaunal Community Composition Using Metabarcoding

Poster Number

076

Faculty Mentor

Julian Smith III, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Biology

Location

Richardson Ballroom (DIGS)

Start Date

20-4-2018 2:15 PM

End Date

20-4-2018 4:15 PM

Description

Marine meiofauna, comprising sub-millimeter representatives from most animal phyla, are ubiquitous in the marine benthos, ranging from the intertidal to the deep ocean. Continuing controversy exists over their relative importance in benthic ecosystem processes. Therefore, their importance to the essential ecosystem services provided by marine benthos remains open to question. Although recent research has shown that meiofauna can exert significant effects on sediment structure and stability, nutrient cycling, waste removal, and linkage of microbial production to higher trophic levels, whether or not these results are general is unknown. The question is important because the meiofauna are affected by the same anthropogenic stressors to which marine benthic communities are currently exposed. Therefore, in addition to hypothesis-testing, it is also important to have a baseline for comparison in order to detect future changes in marine meiofaunal communities. Broadly, we propose to establish community metabarcoding as technique at Winthrop University, to use that technique to determine alpha diversity of the meiofaunal communities from two sties differing in degree of anthropogenic stress, and to use a modified version of community metabarcoding to determine trophic connections in these meiofaunal communities.

Previously Presented/Performed?

; Fourth Annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE), Winthrop University, April 2018

Grant Support?

Supported by an SC INBRE grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH-NIGMS)

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Apr 20th, 2:15 PM Apr 20th, 4:15 PM

Analyzing Anthropogenic Effects on Sandy Beaches and Meiofaunal Community Composition Using Metabarcoding

Richardson Ballroom (DIGS)

Marine meiofauna, comprising sub-millimeter representatives from most animal phyla, are ubiquitous in the marine benthos, ranging from the intertidal to the deep ocean. Continuing controversy exists over their relative importance in benthic ecosystem processes. Therefore, their importance to the essential ecosystem services provided by marine benthos remains open to question. Although recent research has shown that meiofauna can exert significant effects on sediment structure and stability, nutrient cycling, waste removal, and linkage of microbial production to higher trophic levels, whether or not these results are general is unknown. The question is important because the meiofauna are affected by the same anthropogenic stressors to which marine benthic communities are currently exposed. Therefore, in addition to hypothesis-testing, it is also important to have a baseline for comparison in order to detect future changes in marine meiofaunal communities. Broadly, we propose to establish community metabarcoding as technique at Winthrop University, to use that technique to determine alpha diversity of the meiofaunal communities from two sties differing in degree of anthropogenic stress, and to use a modified version of community metabarcoding to determine trophic connections in these meiofaunal communities.