EGU22-12176, updated on 28 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Paleometagenomic network analysis of ancient DNA from Bering Sea sediments to examine past ecological communities

Viktor Dinkel1, Stella Zora Buchwald1, Kathleen Stoof-Leichsenring1, Marc-Thorsten Hütt2, Dirk Nürnberg3, and Ulrike Herzschuh1
Viktor Dinkel et al.
  • 1Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Polar Terrestrial Environmental Systems, Potsdam, Germany (
  • 2Jacobs University Bremen
  • 3GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel

Understanding marine ecological systems is a challenging task that requires probing of different comparable states and comprehensive time series analysis. In this approach, we analyze sedimentary ancient DNA recovered from marine sediments which function as an extensive archive of past biota, as they conserve snapshots of the ecological community from the time of its DNA deposition. We examine metagenomic shotgun data from 22 samples as a time series ranging 124 kyrs from a probed sediment core recovered from the Shirshov Ridge in the Bering Sea basin to explore the possibilities of paleometagenomic network analyses. Looking at the presence and abundance of different taxa inhabiting the ocean at certain periods and climatic conditions including (1) the last interglacial (Eemian), (2) the last glacial period, and (3) the modern interglacial (Holocene), we reconstruct and analyze ecological networks and inspect how they have changed and adapted over time. Moreover, by developing extensive network analysis methods including species interaction enrichment and comparable simulation models we evaluate the viability of identifying complex connections and relationships between organisms, as well as the influence of reconstructed environmental factors. Our analysis establishes an initial pipeline for paleometagenomic network analyses and enables further research, e.g. network comparison of multiple marine sites to better understand past ecological mechanisms.

How to cite: Dinkel, V., Buchwald, S. Z., Stoof-Leichsenring, K., Hütt, M.-T., Nürnberg, D., and Herzschuh, U.: Paleometagenomic network analysis of ancient DNA from Bering Sea sediments to examine past ecological communities, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12176,, 2022.


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