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Aquatic Plant Biodiversity and DNA Barcoding

  • Sufia Irfan
  • Aishah Alatawi
Chapter

Abstract

Life on Earth is abundant, diverse, and intricate in organization with different interconnected strata. This complexity of life system is completely under control of genetic, organismal, and ecological diversity. Biodiversity is collection of all species of animals, plants, fungi, and microbial organisms living on Earth and the variety of habitats inhabited by them. It is the degree of nature’s variety or variation within the natural system, both in terms of number and frequency. Alterations and interference by humans within the ecosystems have resulted in extensive impairment and fragmentations of habitats. Diminishing populations gives rise to inbreeding, genetic drift, and a loss of genetic variation and, therefore, creates vulnerability of species toward environmental changes. Biodiversity in aquatic ecosystem is immense. Since the beginning of time, every cradle of life and civilization has developed in and around aquatic bodies. Whether flowing or static, aquatic bodies are important to our physical chemical and biological world. A significant number of diverse plant species is found in and around aquatic bodies: flowering plant, mosses, liverworts, species of encrusting lichens, stoneworts, and other large algal species; aquatic bodies downstream support a rich diverse species of plants. Identification of rich submerged biota in freshwater and marine aquatic ecosystem is a difficult task to accomplish. In order to understand distributions, patterns, and abundances for populations or species, the collection (detection) and identification of individuals from their physical origins must be undertaken. However, species detection is sometimes extremely difficult especially in marine and aquatic environments where organisms have complex life cycles, and direct observation of early development stages is almost impossible. DNA barcode is used by biologists and ecologist to a standardized short sequence of DNA that can be recovered and featured as a unique identification marker for all species in the biosphere. DNA barcoding has presented the conventional taxonomy in digital format. This review describes a summary of available information on historical background of DNA barcoding, biodiversity in aquatic habitats, and available resources of DNA barcoding in marine and freshwater systems. DNA barcoding has been established as a mature field of biodiversity sciences filing the conceptual gap between traditional taxonomy and different fields of molecular systematics.

Keywords

Aquatic ecosystem Biodiversity eDNA 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biology Department, College of ScienceFaculty of Science, University of TabukTabukSaudi Arabia

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