UTEP Bioinformatics Data Repository

Title: Evidence for regional aeolian transport of freshwater biota in arid regions
Authors: Rivas, J.A., Mohl, J., Van Pelt, R.S., Leung, M.-Y., Wallace, R.L., Gill, T.E., Walsh, E.J.
Year: 2018
Journal: Limnology and Oceanography Letters
Volume: 3
Issue: 4
Pages: 320-330
Abstract: While separated by large expanses of dry terrain unsuitable for aquatic biota, aridland waters possess high biodiversity. How aquatic micrometazoans disperse to, and colonize, these isolated ephemeral habitats are not well understood. We used a multi-faceted approach including wind tunnel and rehydration experiments, and next-generation sequencing to assess potential movement of diapausing propagules of aquatic invertebrates by anemochory across regional scales (102–105 km). Wind tunnel experiments using dry playa sediments having added micrometazoan propagules demonstrated that after entrainment by saltation (energetic sandblasting) and downwind transport were subsequently recoverable as viable animals when rehydrated. Further, rehydration of fallen natural dust yielded micrometazoans, including rotifers, gastrotrichs, microcrustaceans, and nematodes. Using conserved DNA primers we identified >3,300 eukaryotic OTUs (excluding fungi) in the dust including some taxa found in rehydration experiments. Thus, we provide strong evidence that anemochory can disperse micrometazoans among isolated, ephemeral ecosystems in North American deserts and likely elsewhere.
Keywords: anemochory, desert, dust, environmental sequencing, invertebrates, dust rehydration, wind transport

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The UTEP Bioinformatics Data Repository project is supported in part by NIH Grants #5G12RR008124 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)/NIH to BBRC. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors.
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