Biodiversity Patterns on an Inshore to Offshore Gradient Using Metabarcoding and Barcoding Molecular Tools

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


It has been estimated that coral reefs shelter 830 000 species. Well-studied biodiversity patterns provide tools for better representation of species in marine protected areas. A cross-shelf gradient in biodiversity exists for fishes, corals, and macroalgae. Here, an inshore to offshore gradient in biodiversity on the Saudi Arabian coast of the Red Sea was sampled using Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) with barcoding and metabarcoding techniques. It was hypothesized that differences in community structure would be driven by an increase in habitat area. The difference was attributed to the greater accumulation of sediments close to shore that increases the area habitable for sediment dwelling organisms and favors macroalgal cover. Macroalgae are inhabited by a greater number of species than live coral. Only 10% of the sequences of the barcoded fraction and
Date of AwardDec 2015
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorMichael Berumen (Supervisor)


  • Biodiversity
  • reef
  • Ecology
  • Biodiversity patterns
  • Red Sea
  • Crypto-fauna

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