MetaMon final project report - High-throughput metabarcoding of eukaryotic diversity for environmental monitoring of marine sediments
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MetaMon (2018-2021) was a project at the NORCE Molecular Ecology Research Group aimed at maturing eDNA for sediment offshore environmental monitoring. Findings include (i) guidelines for sampling and processing, (ii) a 97 station metabarcoding study showing metabarcoding de novo biotic indices performed comparable to the morpho-taxonomic NSI index and co-occurrence networks for impacted and non-impacted sites. Two ddPCR assays were developed and tested as a proof of concept. Finally, (iii) a gap analysis was done for online databases, (iv) several species were individually sequenced, and (v) COI metabarcoding of bulk animal tissue evaluated. With these deliverables together with an ambitious program for communication and outreach MetaMon has significantly advanced progress towards use of metabarcoding data in offshore environmental monitoring, yet findings need to be consolidated with further data and time series validation.