DNA barcodes change our view on how nature is structured

Understanding who feeds on whom and how often is the basis for understanding how nature is built and works. A new study now suggests that the methods used to depict food webs may have a strong impact on how we perceive their makeup. Once similar techniques are applied to food webs across the globe, we may encounter major surprises.

To understand how feeding interactions are structured, researchers from Finland and Canada chose to focus on one of the simplest food webs on Earth: the moths and butterflies of Northeast Greenland, as attacked by their specialist enemies, parasitic wasps and flies developing on their prey (called host), killing it in the process.

Read more about the new study in AlphaGalileo 

Download the paper from PNAS

 A landscape from the Zackenberg valley, Northeast Greenland.
 Photo: Gergely Várkonyi.