An Accumulation Curve of standardized DNA barcodes and related features provides a clear, transparent, and reproducible estimate of the diversity and sampling efficiency of areas or collections. This tool also allows users to quickly compare sampling efficiency at multiple regions by multiple taxonomic levels.
Each curve is a plot of the number of species, genera, subfamilies, and/or BINs as a function of the number of samples. The Extra Info field can also be plotted, for example to graph morphotypes. As the tool allows for multiple graphs, it can help a researcher determine which geographic regions are producing less new groups (creating multiple graphs by country, province, or region), or which taxonomic group is plateauing (creating multiple graphs by phylum, class, order, family, or subfamily). The Extra Info field can also be utilized to investigate efficiency of sampling protocols, progress in FAO regions, etc.
Sampling order can be randomized, and for a large dataset, a higher a degree of smoothing may be optimal via more iterations; however this will take longer to calculate. Order of submission can also be chosen to visualize the impact of sampling efforts.
A steep slope indicates that a large fraction of the diversity remains to be discovered. A curve that is flatter to the right indicates that a reasonable number of individual samples have been collected and more intensive sampling is likely to yield only few additional groups.
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