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Title: The crossover from microscopy to genes in marine diversity: from species to assemblages in marine pelagic copepods
An accurate identification of species and communities is a prerequisite for analysing and recording biodiversity and community shifts. In the context of marine biodiversity conservation and management, this review outlines past, present and forward-looking perspectives on identifying and recording planktonic diversity by illustrating the transition from traditional species identification based on morphological diagnostic characters to full molecular genetic identification of marine assemblages. In this process, the article presents the methodological advancements by discussing progress and critical aspects of the crossover from traditional to novel and future molecular genetic identifications and it outlines the advantages of integrative approaches using the strengths of both morphological and molecular techniques to identify species and assemblages. We demonstrate this process of identifying and recording marine biodiversity on pelagic copepods as model taxon. Copepods are known for their high taxonomic and ecological diversity and comprise a huge variety of behaviours, forms and life histories, making them a highly interesting and well-studied group in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Furthermore, their short life cycles and rapid responses to changing environments make them good indicators and core research components for ecosystem health and status in the light of environmental change. This article is part of the theme more » issue ‘Integrative research perspectives on marine conservation’. « less
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Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
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National Science Foundation
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