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Environmental DNA as a Tool for Inventory and Monitoring of Aquatic Vertebrates

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Technical Report,06 Mar 2012,24 Dec 2016

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Washington State University Pullman United States

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The project demonstrated the effectiveness of environmental DNA techniques for monitoring sensitive aquatic vertebrate species and their invasive threats at Department of Defense DoD installations. We developed and validated eDNA sampling protocols for a variety of aquatic species, including frogs, salamanders, fish, and disease-causing pathogens. Working with field crews at Eglin AFB, Florida, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and Yakima Training Center, WA, we compared the results of our eDNA protocol to traditional field sampling with respect to sensitivity, detection probabilities, and cost efficiency. Compared to field surveys, eDNA sampling generally resulted in higher probability of detecting species when the species were present. Environmental DNA sampling for Sonora tiger salamander and flatwoods salamander had higher costs than field surveys in the initial year of test development for each species, but lower costs for ongoing sampling in subsequent years.

Subject Categories:

  • Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
  • Ecology
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods

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