OIST Workshop "Advances in Biodiversity Genomics for Ecological Community Analysis: Linking Theoretical and Empirical Approaches"
The problem of measuring and understanding ecological community structure and predicting future changes has long been a central challenge of ecological science. However, the empirical study ofecological communities has traditionally been hampered methodological and practical impediments. While community sampling can sometimes be achieved for conspicuous and well-studied species such as birds, mammals, and plants, acquiring community-wide data on across hyperdiverse groups such asarthropods is prohibitively difficult due to the tedious process of manual identification, and the lack of identification resources for the majority of arthropod taxa. Recently, advances in DNA sequencing technology and corresponding development of new molecular pipelines are rapidly breaking this limitation by providing methods for high throughput species identification and community characterization (metabarcoding). This provides new data streams with which we can use to document and monitor ecological communities, and a new powerful tool for species discovery and conservation biology. They also provide unprecedented opportunities to test ecological theory with real data, but substantial work is needed to link theoretical concepts with patterns recovered from metabarcodingdata.
The aim of this symposium is to bring together leading researchers in this rapidly developing field topresent latest developments in DNA-based community analysis of arthropods including metabarcodingand related techniques, with those developing theoretical and quantitative approaches to addressing diverse problems. The symposium will focus on i) presentation of latest methodological developments in metabarcoding ii) development of bioinformatic and statistical methods/pipelines to analyze data iii) applications of the aforementioned tools to different ecological problems, and iv) theoretical advances that can facilitate biological inferences from ecological sampling, and v) horizon scan the future givenupcoming advances in sequencing technologies and quantitative methods.