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Sunday 4 March 2012
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Trophic transfer, bioaccumulation and effects of contaminants in terrestrial food webs

DROUHOT Séverine

Knowing the network of interactions between organisms is essential to understand ecosystem functioning. In particular, documenting food web structure allows to understand transfers of energy and matters. Among them, many pollutants, especially metallic trace elements, are transferred via food between organisms. Diet of animals and its spatial and temporal variations are however rarely taken into account to understand pollutants behavior in situ, likely because traditional diet analysis methods (histology and microscopy) are too time-consuming and not precise enough. The recent development of molecular methods is promising to evaluate diet diversity with higher precision and more quickly.

On a partially remediated former gold mine in southern France (Salsigne), we studied arsenic transfer in a food web involving small mammals, via a molecular assessment of both herbivorous and insectivorous diet. We especially measured the exposition of animals to arsenic (contamination of food) and the distribution of arsenic in organs, at 4 sessions of capture, at 2 seasons (spring and autumn) and on 4 levels of remediation. In parallel, we began to analyze the diet of the 4 species (wood mouse, Algerian mouse, common vole and greater white-toothed shrew) using the new metabarcoding approach on both stomach content and faeces, to detect animal preys and plant food items. We used the trnL method to analyse the plant diet of 10 small mammals. First results are very promising.

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Editorial board
  • BRANDNER Melissa
    • University of Nordland
    • Bodø (Norway)
  • BROCHMANN Christian
    • National Centre for Biosystematics
    • Oslo (Norway)
  • CHARITON Anthony
    • CSIRO Land and Water
    • Lucas Heights NA (Australia)
  • DEAGLE Bruce
    • University of Victoria
    • Victoria (Canada)
  • Eric Coissac
    • LECA
    • Grenoble (France)
  • KASAPIDIS Panagiotis
    • Hellenic Center for Marine Research
    • Irakleion, Crete (Greece)
    • Université de Genève
    • Genève 4 (Switzerland)
  • TABERLET Pierre
    • LECA,
    • Grenoble (France)
    • Centre for GeoGenetics
    • Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • ZINGER Lucie
    • IBENS
    • Paris (France)
  • Vodka, Bison and Metabarcoding

    31 July 2015, by BRANDNER Melissa

    The start of last month saw the occurrence of the Fifth Metabarcoding Spring School held in Białowieża National Park , Poland. A variety of scientists attended from all over the globe to learn, share and inspire with unique stories of metabarcoding.
    The scientists at the Mammal Research Institute PAS in Białowieża National Park hosted this year’s workshop. And our hats go off to them for the organizational skills, warmth and hospitality. During the week, experienced metabarcoders gave lectures on their trials and tribulations in the field of metabarcoding, sparking conversations between the attendees. The end of the first day saw flash talks from all participants of the event, creating an icebreaker and showing the wide variety of applications for metabarcoding, including, dietary studies, environmental health, fundamental ecology and exploration of rare and ancient habitats.
    Pierre Taberlet (who is rumoured to run 8000 PCR a day!) taught technical aspects such as DNA extraction in (...)

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