DNA-based methods to investigate Baltic food webs

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[2017-10-25] A new publication by Seanalytics shows the power of DNA-based identification methods for the study of food webs in marine ecosystems. In the article published in PlosONE the authors investigated the diet of stickleback from the western Baltic Sea coast using both DNA metabarcoding and visual analysis of stomach contents. The molecular markers identified overall 84 prey species. Compared to previous studies, this is an unusually high prey diversity. These results suggest that the three-spined stickleback feeds on a wide variety of both pelagic and benthic organisms, indicating that the strong increase in stickleback populations may affect many parts of the Baltic Sea coastal ecosystem.

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