Environmental DNA as a valuable and unique source of information about ecological networks in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems

Sylwia Zielińska , Dorota Kidawa , Lech Stempniewicz , Marcin Łoś , Joanna Monika Łoś


Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ongoing and predicted climate changes. The current states of environmental biodiversity and ecological networks in the Arctic need to be known and understood to monitor how they change and how these changes may influence the particular components of the ecosystem. Despite the fact that the Arctic tundra is generally poor in nutrients, it has a surprisingly high biodiversity, especially of invertebrates and microorganisms. Besides macroclimatic features, there may be local factors influencing biodiversity, such as microclimate, water availability, or large seabird colonies depositing guano. This last can have a substantial impact on the soil’s physicochemical features, and consequently the distribution, number, and diversity of tundra-associated plants and animals in the vicinity of the colony. Changes in the Arctic biodiversity and the functioning of the ecosystem at all trophic levels are difficult to investigate using traditional methods. In this review, we discuss how modern molecular techniques, including next generation sequencing, influence our ability to investigate and understand this ecosystem at both the micro- and the macroscale and how they can complement the more traditional approaches to studying ecological networks in the Arctic.
Author Sylwia Zielińska (FB / DMGB)
Sylwia Zielińska,,
- Department of Molecular Genetics of Bacteria
, Dorota Kidawa (FB / DVEZ)
Dorota Kidawa,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
, Lech Stempniewicz (FB / DVEZ)
Lech Stempniewicz,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
, Marcin Łoś (FB / DMGB)
Marcin Łoś,,
- Department of Molecular Genetics of Bacteria
, Joanna Monika Łoś (FB / DMGB)
Joanna Monika Łoś,,
- Department of Molecular Genetics of Bacteria
Other language title versions
Journal seriesEnvironmental Reviews, ISSN 1208-6053 [1181-8700], (A 40 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in EnglishArctic, environmental DNA, metagenomics, environmental samples, faeces, soil
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)40
ScoreMinisterial score = 40.0, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 40.0, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 3.328 (2) - 2017=4.262 (5)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.