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Prospects and challenges of environmental DNA (eDNA) monitoring in freshwater ponds

Harper, Lynsey R.; Buxton, Andrew S.; Rees, Helen C.; Bruce, Kat; Brys, Rein; Halfmaerten, David; Read, Daniel S.; Watson, Hayley V.; Sayer, Carl D.; Jones, Eleanor P.; Priestley, Victoria; Mächler, Elvira; Múrria, Cesc; Garcés-Pastor, Sandra; Medupin, Cecilia; Burgess, Katherine; Benson, Gillian; Boonham, Neil; Griffiths, Richard A.; Lawson Handley, Lori; Hänfling, Bernd. 2019 Prospects and challenges of environmental DNA (eDNA) monitoring in freshwater ponds. Hydrobiologia, 826 (1). 25-41. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-018-3750-5

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Abstract/Summary

Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis is a rapid, non-invasive, cost-efficient biodiversity monitoring tool with enormous potential to inform aquatic conservation and management. Development is ongoing, with strong commercial interest, and new uses are continually being discovered. General applications of eDNA and guidelines for best practice in freshwater systems have been established, but habitat-specific assessments are lacking. Ponds are highly diverse, yet understudied systems that could benefit from eDNA monitoring. However, eDNA applications in ponds and methodological constraints specific to these environments remain unaddressed. Following a stakeholder workshop in 2017, researchers combined knowledge and expertise to review these applications and challenges that must be addressed for the future and consistency of eDNA monitoring in ponds. The greatest challenges for pond eDNA surveys are representative sampling, eDNA capture, and potential PCR inhibition. We provide recommendations for sampling, eDNA capture, inhibition testing, and laboratory practice, which should aid new and ongoing eDNA projects in ponds. If implemented, these recommendations will contribute towards an eventual broad standardisation of eDNA research and practice, with room to tailor workflows for optimal analysis and different applications. Such standardisation will provide more robust, comparable, and ecologically meaningful data to enable effective conservation and management of pond biodiversity.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-018-3750-5
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0018-8158
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: aquatic, biodiversity, lentic, metabarcoding, quantitative PCR, survey
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 26 Sep 2018 14:13 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/521049

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