Strengthening the DNA barcode reference library for South African estuarine macrofauna
Seagrass ecosystems face many anthropogenic pressures, yet globally there is a lack of knowledge of their associated biodiversity. Molecular barcoding can aid in biomonitoring efforts, but few South African invertebrates are accounted for. We provide 48 new sequences for 15 invertebrate species across a range of taxonomic groups sampled from Zostera capensis meadows, eight of which were not previously barcoded. Our work presents an important effort to strengthen the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (mtDNA-COI) reference database for estuarine macrofauna in South Africa, supporting regional and global conservation efforts.
Keywords: biomonitoring, DNA barcoding, estuarine biodiversity, invertebrates, Knysna Lagoon, mtDNA-COI, seagrass meadows, Zostera capensis