Barcode Long Island Team Freeport High School
Barcode Long Island
Research Topic:
Biodiversity & trade
Taxonomic Group Studied:
Animals: Invertebrate


The Effect of Environmental Pollution on Insect Biodiversity
Karina Rios, Elise Smith
Freeport High School, Nassau
Edward Irwin


DNA barcoding has emerged as the primary method of identifying species of plants, animals, invertebrates and fungi. The primary goal of our DNA Barcode project is to compare ants from the north shore (Smithtown area) and south shore (Freeport area) of Long Island. Using DNA Barcoding, it is hypothesized that the identification of new species can be used as an indication that environmental contamination has direct involvement in altering biodiversity on Long Island. Ants were collected along with soil samples. Soil was analyzed for mercury using atomic absorbance and used as an indicator of environmental pollution. As anticipated, soil samples taken near landfills of the north and south shores showed increased levels of mercury contamination. In past years, values ranged between .218 to .371 ug Hg/g compared to those found in locations farther from landfills that ranged from .032 to .065 ug Hg/g. Last year, residential mercury levels had a span of .018 to .190 ug Hg/g. The environmental


Team samples: