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Molecular Species Delimitation and Biogeography of Canadian Marine Planktonic Crustaceans

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Title: Molecular Species Delimitation and Biogeography of Canadian Marine Planktonic Crustaceans
Author: Young, Robert
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Adamowicz, SarahAbbott, Cathryn
Abstract: Zooplankton are a major component of the marine environment in both diversity and biomass and are a crucial source of nutrients for organisms at higher trophic levels. Unfortunately, marine zooplankton biodiversity is not well known because of difficult morphological identifications and lack of taxonomic experts for many groups. In addition, the large taxonomic diversity present in plankton and low sampling coverage pose challenges in obtaining a better understanding of true zooplankton diversity. Molecular identification tools, like DNA barcoding, have been successfully used to identify marine planktonic specimens to a species. However, the behaviour of methods for specimen identification and species delimitation remain untested for taxonomically div¬erse and widely-distributed marine zooplanktonic groups. Using Canadian marine planktonic crustacean collections, I generated a multi-gene data set including COI-5P and 18S-V4 molecular markers of morphologically-identified Copepoda and Thecostraca (Multicrustacea: Hexanauplia) species. I used this data set to assess generalities in the genetic divergence patterns and to determine if a barcode gap exists separating interspecific and intraspecific molecular divergences, which can reliably delimit specimens into species. I then used this information to evaluate the North Pacific, Arctic, and North Atlantic biogeography of marine Calanoida (Hexanauplia: Copepoda) plankton. My work provides essential information on the molecular data and analysis tools necessary to conduct rapid biodiversity surveys on marine plankton, facilitating the exploration of unknown faunas using DNA barcoding and providing baseline data against which future comparisons can be made.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9753
Date: 2016-06-13


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