Pilot Study Results

During the pilot phase, approximately one-third of the estimated macrobiota of the island have been inventoried. While focusing on the 'easier' groups, we purposefully cut across a broad taxonomic gamut (e.g. plants to animals) and across multiple habitats (marine, freshwater and terrestrial). We did this explicitly to challenge ourselves in order to identify limitations and bottlenecks in all field aspects including collection, tissue preparation, photovouchering, curation, and identifying appropriate repositories. Moreover, as an All Taxa Biotic Inventory (ATBI), we also faced the analytical challenges (DNA extraction, primer development, marker choice [e.g. corals, ferns, Foraminifera]) of producing sequence data that cut across phyla (including little studied but perhaps ecologically important ‘orphan phyla’). We have successfully met all these challenges, and in the process, provided template material for CBOL, BOLD, LABS, and others to test and establish protocols that go beyond ‘standard’ taxoncentric barcoding campaigns.