Using Plant DNA Barcodes to Estimate Species Richness in Poorly Known Floras
Costion, Ford et al., PLoS One
Investigators at Australia's University of Adelaide show that "plant DNA barcodes can accurately estimate species richness in poorly known floras." In a case study, the Adelaide team demonstrates the "potential of plant DNA barcodes for the rapid estimation of species richness in taxonomically poorly known areas or cryptic populations revealing a powerful new tool for rapid biodiversity assessment." Overall, the team says it shows that "although DNA barcodes fail to discriminate all species of plants, new perspectives and methods on biodiversity value and quantification may overshadow some of these shortcomings by applying barcode data in new ways."