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Who's for dinner? High-throughput sequencing reveals bat dietary differentiation in a biodiversity hotspot where prey taxonomy is largely undescribed.
Mol Ecol 2014; 23(15):3605-17ME

Abstract

Effective management and conservation of biodiversity requires understanding of predator-prey relationships to ensure the continued existence of both predator and prey populations. Gathering dietary data from predatory species, such as insectivorous bats, often presents logistical challenges, further exacerbated in biodiversity hot spots because prey items are highly speciose, yet their taxonomy is largely undescribed. We used high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and bioinformatic analyses to phylogenetically group DNA sequences into molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) to examine predator-prey dynamics of three sympatric insectivorous bat species in the biodiversity hotspot of south-western Australia. We could only assign between 4% and 20% of MOTUs to known genera or species, depending on the method used, underscoring the importance of examining dietary diversity irrespective of taxonomic knowledge in areas lacking a comprehensive genetic reference database. MOTU analysis confirmed that resource partitioning occurred, with dietary divergence positively related to the ecomorphological divergence of the three bat species. We predicted that bat species' diets would converge during times of high energetic requirements, that is, the maternity season for females and the mating season for males. There was an interactive effect of season on female, but not male, bat species' diets, although small sample sizes may have limited our findings. Contrary to our predictions, females of two ecomorphologically similar species showed dietary convergence during the mating season rather than the maternity season. HTS-based approaches can help elucidate complex predator-prey relationships in highly speciose regions, which should facilitate the conservation of biodiversity in genetically uncharacterized areas, such as biodiversity hotspots.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, 90 South Street, Murdoch, WA, 6150, Australia.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24118181

Citation

Burgar, Joanna M., et al. "Who's for Dinner? High-throughput Sequencing Reveals Bat Dietary Differentiation in a Biodiversity Hotspot Where Prey Taxonomy Is Largely Undescribed." Molecular Ecology, vol. 23, no. 15, 2014, pp. 3605-17.
Burgar JM, Murray DC, Craig MD, et al. Who's for dinner? High-throughput sequencing reveals bat dietary differentiation in a biodiversity hotspot where prey taxonomy is largely undescribed. Mol Ecol. 2014;23(15):3605-17.
Burgar, J. M., Murray, D. C., Craig, M. D., Haile, J., Houston, J., Stokes, V., & Bunce, M. (2014). Who's for dinner? High-throughput sequencing reveals bat dietary differentiation in a biodiversity hotspot where prey taxonomy is largely undescribed. Molecular Ecology, 23(15), pp. 3605-17. doi:10.1111/mec.12531.
Burgar JM, et al. Who's for Dinner? High-throughput Sequencing Reveals Bat Dietary Differentiation in a Biodiversity Hotspot Where Prey Taxonomy Is Largely Undescribed. Mol Ecol. 2014;23(15):3605-17. PubMed PMID: 24118181.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Who's for dinner? High-throughput sequencing reveals bat dietary differentiation in a biodiversity hotspot where prey taxonomy is largely undescribed. AU - Burgar,Joanna M, AU - Murray,Daithi C, AU - Craig,Michael D, AU - Haile,James, AU - Houston,Jayne, AU - Stokes,Vicki, AU - Bunce,Michael, Y1 - 2013/10/31/ PY - 2013/02/18/received PY - 2013/09/05/revised PY - 2013/09/13/accepted PY - 2013/10/15/entrez PY - 2013/10/15/pubmed PY - 2014/10/3/medline KW - Chalinolobus gouldii KW - Nyctophilus gouldi KW - Vespadelus regulus KW - dietary differentiation KW - molecular scatology KW - next-generation sequencing SP - 3605 EP - 17 JF - Molecular ecology JO - Mol. Ecol. VL - 23 IS - 15 N2 - Effective management and conservation of biodiversity requires understanding of predator-prey relationships to ensure the continued existence of both predator and prey populations. Gathering dietary data from predatory species, such as insectivorous bats, often presents logistical challenges, further exacerbated in biodiversity hot spots because prey items are highly speciose, yet their taxonomy is largely undescribed. We used high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and bioinformatic analyses to phylogenetically group DNA sequences into molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) to examine predator-prey dynamics of three sympatric insectivorous bat species in the biodiversity hotspot of south-western Australia. We could only assign between 4% and 20% of MOTUs to known genera or species, depending on the method used, underscoring the importance of examining dietary diversity irrespective of taxonomic knowledge in areas lacking a comprehensive genetic reference database. MOTU analysis confirmed that resource partitioning occurred, with dietary divergence positively related to the ecomorphological divergence of the three bat species. We predicted that bat species' diets would converge during times of high energetic requirements, that is, the maternity season for females and the mating season for males. There was an interactive effect of season on female, but not male, bat species' diets, although small sample sizes may have limited our findings. Contrary to our predictions, females of two ecomorphologically similar species showed dietary convergence during the mating season rather than the maternity season. HTS-based approaches can help elucidate complex predator-prey relationships in highly speciose regions, which should facilitate the conservation of biodiversity in genetically uncharacterized areas, such as biodiversity hotspots. SN - 1365-294X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24118181/Who's_for_dinner_High_throughput_sequencing_reveals_bat_dietary_differentiation_in_a_biodiversity_hotspot_where_prey_taxonomy_is_largely_undescribed_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.12531 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -