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Using next generation sequencing of alpine plants to improve fecal metabarcoding diet analysis for Dall’s sheep

May 7, 2021

Objectives

Dall’s sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) are important herbivores in the mountainous ecosystems of northwestern North America, and recent declines in some populations have sparked concern. Our aim was to improve capabilities for fecal metabarcoding diet analysis of Dall’s sheep and other herbivores by contributing new sequence data for arctic and alpine plants. This expanded reference library will provide critical reference sequence data that will facilitate metabarcoding diet analysis of Dall’s sheep and thus improve understanding of plant-animal interactions in a region undergoing rapid climate change.

Data description

We provide sequences for the chloroplast rbcL gene of 16 arctic-alpine vascular plant species that are known to comprise the diet of Dall’s sheep. These sequences contribute to a growing reference library that can be used in diet studies of arctic herbivores.