Critical considerations for the application of environmental DNA methods to detect aquatic species

  title={Critical considerations for the application of environmental DNA methods to detect aquatic species},
  author={Caren S. Goldberg and Cameron R. Turner and Kristy Deiner and Katy E. Klymus and Philip Francis Thomsen and Melanie A Murphy and Stephen F. Spear and Anna M. McKee and Sara J. Oyler-McCance and Robert S. Cornman and Matthew B. Laramie and Andrew R. Mahon and Richard F. Lance and David S. Pilliod and Katherine M. Strickler and Lisette P. Waits and Alexander K. Fremier and Teruhiko Takahara and Jelger E. Herder and Pierre Taberlet},
  journal={Methods in Ecology and Evolution},
Species detection using environmental DNA (eDNA) has tremendous potential for contributing to the understanding of the ecology and conservation of aquatic species. Detecting species using eDNA methods, rather than directly sampling the organisms, can reduce impacts on sensitive species and increase the power of field surveys for rare and elusive species. The sensitivity of eDNA methods, however, requires a heightened awareness and attention to quality assurance and quality control protocols… 

Standards for Methods Utilizing Environmental DNA for Detection of Fish Species

The aim of this review is to provide a useful strategy for fish eDNA technology that can be applied by researchers, advisors, and managers.

Understanding the effects of biotic and abiotic factors on sources of aquatic environmental DNA

  • K. Stewart
  • Environmental Science
    Biodiversity and Conservation
  • 2019
A review of publications on aquatic macroorganism eDNA that have evaluated or considered the effect of sources on signal detection (or quantification) and finds few studies acknowledge, and fewer still evaluate, the impact of eDNA production on genomic signal recovery.

A systematic approach to evaluate the influence of environmental conditions on eDNA detection success in aquatic ecosystems

The results of this study highlight that a successful application of eDNA methods in field surveys strongly depends on site-specific conditions, such as water flow conditions, sediment composition, and suspended particles, which should be carefully considered when sampling, analyzing, and interpreting eDNA detection results.


The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) for environmental monitoring has been presented as a technique to replace existing traditional monitoring techniques; being faster, easier and more accurate. In

Environmental DNA Methods for Ecological Monitoring and Biodiversity Assessment in Estuaries

Environmental DNA (eDNA) detection methods can complement traditional biomonitoring to yield new ecological insights in aquatic systems. However, the conceptual and methodological frameworks for

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

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,

An analytical framework for estimating aquatic species density from environmental DNA

A modeling approach that aims at inferring animal density from eDNA is presented and assessed, and the potential of this method to work in natural settings, where density can never be known with absolute certainty is assessed.



Species detection using environmental DNA from water samples

A novel approach, based on the limited persistence of DNA in the environment, to detect the presence of a species in fresh water, using specific primers that amplify short mitochondrial DNA sequences to track the existence of a frog in controlled environments and natural wetlands.

Quantifying environmental DNA signals for aquatic invasive species across multiple detection platforms.

Although a new platform for eDNA surveillance of aquatic species, ddPCR was consistent with more commonly used qPCR and a cost-effective means of estimating DNA concentrations, and should be considered in future e DNA surveillance applications.

Environmental DNA surveillance for invertebrate species: advantages and technical limitations to detect invasive crayfish Procambarus clarkii in freshwater ponds.

This work examines the reliability of using eDNA to detect the presence of an invasive freshwater crustacean species, the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii, and develops a combination of environmental DNA (eDNA) and conventional trapping methods to monitor the invasion.

From molecules to management: adopting DNA-based methods for monitoring biological invasions in aquatic environments.

Robust Detection of Rare Species Using Environmental DNA: The Importance of Primer Specificity

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is being rapidly adopted as a tool to detect rare animals. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) using probe-based chemistries may represent a particularly powerful tool because of the

Using Environmental DNA to Estimate the Distribution of an Invasive Fish Species in Ponds

The eDNA method simply and rapidly detects the presence of the invasive bluegill sunfish with less disturbance to the environment during field surveys than traditional methods.

Next‐generation monitoring of aquatic biodiversity using environmental DNA metabarcoding

It is argued that the proposed DNA‐based approach has the potential to become the next‐generation tool for ecological studies and standardized biodiversity monitoring in a wide range of aquatic ecosystems.