• Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

    InBIO Associate Laboratory

    Research Center in  Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
  • Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

    InBIO Associate Laboratory

    Research Center in  Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
  • Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

    InBIO Associate Laboratory

    Research Center in  Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
  • Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

    InBIO Associate Laboratory

    Research Center in  Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
 
 

 

 

 

FRESHING - Next-generation biomonitoring: freshwater bioassessment and species conservation improved with metagenomics

 

Freshwater biota are being monitored for a variety of reasons, as the evaluation of ecological quality, and the detection of invasive and threatened species. Freshwater biodiversity data of high quality is thus essential, allowing countries to fulfil legislation requirements, such as Habitat (HD) and Water Framework (WDF) European directives. However, collecting such data still implies an extensive effort and investment. We aim to investigate the value of using latest metagenomic approaches combined with applied ecological tools to optimize freshwater biomonitoring programs. Operational objectives include: 1) develop and optimize the metagenomic approach to obtain reliable biodiversity coverage and species detections; 2) build and validate metagenomic multimetric indexes for bioassessment of ecological quality; 3) build and validate rapid and accurate landscape predictions for monitoring bioassessment indices, and threatened and invasive species; and 4) design next-generation biomonitoring framework for freshwaters including an early warning system for authorities. This is of most importance since fresh waters are widely regarded as essential resources, yet such habitats are highly threatened and already affected by climate change.
This project will integrate genomic and ecological approaches, such as field sampling in the Douro Basin of freshwater macroinvertebrates and fish, lab experiments, metagenomics, species distribution models (SDMs), and conservation planning tools. The project team includes Portuguese, Spanish and German geneticists and ecologists, and a bioinformatic, in collaboration with LABELEC and AQUALOGUS Companies and the EDP Biodiversity Chair. Within the project we will produce high standard and innovative scientific outputs of major importance at the national and international context, from high profile publications to an upgrade of biomonitoring tools, and will support Master and PhD theses.

 
Principal Investigator:
 
 
Research Team:
 
Aina Garcia Raventós

Aina Garcia Raventós

Research Technician

 
Filipa Martins

Filipa Martins

PhD Student

 
 
Paulo Célio Alves

Paulo Célio Alves

Associate Professor

 
Pedro Beja

Pedro Beja

Coordinating Researcher

 
 
Other Members:
Ana Pires, Filipa M S Martins, Maria Magalhães, Sara Cristina Magalhães Carona, Virgilio Lopez
 
State:
On going
 
Proponent Institution:
InBIO/UL-ICETA
 
Funded by:
FCT
 
Dates:
2015
 
Participant Institutions:
Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (FFC/FC/UL), Centro de Ecologia, Evolução e Alterações Ambientais (CE3C/FC/UL), Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)/Freie Universitaet Berlin (IGB)
 
Reference:
PTDC/AAG-MAA/2261/2014