Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Metabarcoding Advances for Ecology and Biogeography of Neotropical Protists: What Do We Know, Where Do We Go?

Version 1 : Received: 22 July 2020 / Approved: 25 July 2020 / Online: 25 July 2020 (11:54:02 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Journal reference: Biota Neotropica 2021
DOI: 10.1590/1676-0611-bn-2021-1214


The Neotropical region is one of the most diverse regions of the globe in terms of macro-organismic species. Regarding the microbial world, however, little is known about the diversity and biogeography patterns of micro-organisms in the Neotropics. In this context, the study of several microbial taxonomic groups is still missing and/or incomplete, such as the protists. Our goal here was to summarize the available information of Neotropical protists, focusing on molecular data from environmental continental samples, to explore what these data evidence on their ecology and biogeography. For this, we reviewed the findings from all articles that focused on or included the terrestrial protists using metabarcoding approach and identified the gaps and future perspectives in this research field. We found that Neotropical protists diversity patterns seem to be, at least in part, congruent with that of macro-organisms and, different than plants and bacteria, just weakly explained by environmental variables. We argue that studies with standardized protocols including different biomes are necessary to fully characterize the ecology and biogeography on Neotropical protists. Furthermore, dismember evolutionary lineages and functional guilds of protists are important to better understand the relationship between diversity, dispersal abilities and functionality of particular taxa of protists in their habitats.


Biogeography; Ecology; Environmental samples; Micro-organisms; Soil biodiversity


BIOLOGY, Ecology

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