Focal vs. fecal: Seasonal variation in the diet of wild vervet monkeys from observational and DNA metabarcoding data.

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State: Public
Version: Final published version
License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Serval ID
serval:BIB_E2DB48ABF361
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Focal vs. fecal: Seasonal variation in the diet of wild vervet monkeys from observational and DNA metabarcoding data.
Journal
Ecology and Evolution
Author(s)
Brun L., Schneider J., Carrió E.M., Dongre P., Taberlet P., Van de Waal E., Fumagalli L.
ISSN
2045-7758 (Print)
ISSN-L
2045-7758
Publication state
Published
Issued date
10/2022
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
12
Number
10
Pages
e9358
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: epublish
Abstract
Assessing the diet of wild animals reveals valuable information about their ecology and trophic relationships that may help elucidate dynamic interactions in ecosystems and forecast responses to environmental changes. Advances in molecular biology provide valuable research tools in this field. However, comparative empirical research is still required to highlight strengths and potential biases of different approaches. Therefore, this study compares environmental DNA and observational methods for the same study population and sampling duration. We employed DNA metabarcoding assays targeting plant and arthropod diet items in 823 fecal samples collected over 12 months in a wild population of an omnivorous primate, the vervet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus). DNA metabarcoding data were subsequently compared to direct observations. We observed the same seasonal patterns of plant consumption with both methods; however, DNA metabarcoding showed considerably greater taxonomic coverage and resolution compared to observations, mostly due to the construction of a local plant DNA database. We found a strong effect of season on variation in plant consumption largely shaped by the dry and wet seasons. The seasonal effect on arthropod consumption was weaker, but feeding on arthropods was more frequent in spring and summer, showing overall that vervets adapt their diet according to available resources. The DNA metabarcoding assay outperformed also direct observations of arthropod consumption in both taxonomic coverage and resolution. Combining traditional techniques and DNA metabarcoding data can therefore not only provide enhanced assessments of complex diets and trophic interactions to the benefit of wildlife conservationists and managers but also opens new perspectives for behavioral ecologists studying whether diet variation in social species is induced by environmental differences or might reflect selective foraging behaviors.
Keywords
DNA metabarcoding, diet estimation, environmental DNA, method comparison, primates, seasonal variation
Pubmed
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
08/09/2022 16:01
Last modification date
14/12/2022 6:54
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