eDNA is revolutionising species monitoring in aquatic environments
2 May 2017, Dr Katie Robinson
You can’t manage species effectively if you don’t know where they are. Traditional observation-based survey methods serve an important role, but it can be a real challenge to use these methods to detect species in environments where they are not easily visible. A recent article by Jim Robbins (A splash of River Water Now Reveals the DNA of all its Creatures) gives us a great overview of how eDNA technologies have begun to revolutionise species detection and monitoring within an aquatic context.
Jim explains how eDNA assays are being used across the Northern Hemisphere to detect invasive species, like carp and bullfrogs, manage endangered species and reintroduction programs, as in the case of the threatened bull trout, and even detect elusive species, such as the mysterious cave dwelling ‘baby dragons’ found deep within the rugged Dinaric Alps of the Balkan Peninsula. This rapidly evolving technology can also be used to get ‘snapshots’ of entire species communities, as shown with a study of fish biodiversity within the Sea of Japan.
Jim's article is a great read as it highlights the varied ways in which eDNA can provide novel solutions to environmental managers, conservationists and biologists alike, using simple cost-effective assays. eDNA can be used to survey difficult to access habitats and can even be incorporated into citizen science projects!
Here at EnviroDNA, we apply this same technology. Whether you work with endangered, invasive or cryptic species, want to conserve whole species communities or have a custom application, we have an eDNA assay that can work for you.
If you would like to chat some more about how eDNA could help you, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org