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Accumulation curves of environmental DNA sequences predict coastal fish diversity in the Coral Triangle
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  • Jean-Baptiste Juhel,
  • Rizkie Utama,
  • Virginie Marques,
  • Indra Vimono,
  • Hagi Sugeha,
  • kadarusman kadarusman,
  • Laurent Pouyaud,
  • Tony Dejean,
  • David Mouillot,
  • Régis Hocdé
Jean-Baptiste Juhel
Universite Montpellier Faculte des Sciences de Montpellier
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Rizkie Utama
Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia
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Virginie Marques
Universite Montpellier Faculte des Sciences de Montpellier
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Indra Vimono
Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia
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Hagi Sugeha
Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia
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kadarusman kadarusman
Politeknik Kelautan dan Perikanan Sorong
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Laurent Pouyaud
Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier
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Tony Dejean
SPYGEN
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David Mouillot
Université Montpellier-CNRS-IFREMER
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Régis Hocdé
Universite Montpellier Faculte des Sciences de Montpellier
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Abstract

Environmental DNA (eDNA) has the potential to provide more comprehensive biodiversity assessments particularly for vertebrates in species-rich regions. Yet, this method requires the completeness of a reference database, i.e. a list of DNA sequences attached to each species, which is never met. As an alternative, a diversity of Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) can be extracted from eDNA metabarcoding. However, the extent to which the diversity of OTUs provided by a limited eDNA sampling effort can predict regional species diversity is unknown. Here, by modelling OTU accumulation curves of eDNA seawater samples across the Coral Triangle, we obtained an asymptote reaching 1,531 fish OTUs while 1,611 fish species are recorded in the region. Besides, we also accurately predict (R² = 0.92) the distribution of species richness among fish families from OTU-based asymptotes. Thus, the multi-model framework of OTU accumulation curves extends the use of eDNA metabarcoding in ecology, biogeography and conservation.