Skip to main content

Genomics in the Discovery and Monitoring of Marine Biodiversity

TitleGenomics in the Discovery and Monitoring of Marine Biodiversity
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsCarvalho, GR, Creer S, Allen MJ, Costa FO, Tsigenopoulos CS, Le Goff-Vitry M, Magoulas A, Medlin L, Metfies K
EditorCock, MJ, Tessmar-Raible K, Boyen C, Viard F
Book TitleIntroduction to Marine Genomics
Series TitleAdvances in Marine Genomics
ISBN Number978-90-481-8616-7

Marine biodiversity encompasses a range of hierarchical levels, including genetic, species, ecosystem and functional diversity. Interactions among such levels determine ultimately the distribution and abundance, as well as evolutionary potential and resilience, of marine taxa. In the face of accelerating environmental change and ecosystem disruption, the detection and monitoring of structural and functional components becomes increasingly urgent. Classical ecological and conservation marine studies focused on species and communities- the emphasis has now shifted to enhancing our understanding of the relationships among the various components of biodiversity, especially their role in ecosystem services such as global nutrient recycling and climate. Here, we highlight the significance of genomics and genetic principles in elucidating the interactions among different biological levels of diversity, from genetic and cellular, to community and ecosystem-level processes. Genomic methods are especially powerful in disclosing previously undetected taxonomic (e.g. DNA barcoding), genetic (e.g. 454 sequencing) and functional (e.g. gene expression, analysis of metabolites) diversity, including the identification of new species and metabolic pathways.