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It’s complicated…environmental DNA as a predictor of trout and char abundance in streams

The potential to provide inferences about fish abundance from environmental (e)DNA samples has generated great interest. However, the accuracy of these abundance estimates is often low and variable across species and space. A plausible refinement is the use of common aquatic habitat monitoring data to account for attributes that influence eDNA dynamics. We therefore evaluated the relationships bet

A round-robin evaluation of the repeatability and reproducibility of environmental DNA assays for dreissenid mussels

Resource managers may be hesitant to make decisions based on environmental (e)DNA results alone since eDNA is an indirect method of species detection. One way to reduce the uncertainty of eDNA is to identify laboratory‐based protocols that ensure repeatable and reproducible results. We conducted a double‐blind round‐robin analysis of probe‐based assays for DNA of dreissenid (Dreissena spp.) mussel

Integration of eDNA-based biological monitoring within the US Geological Survey’s national streamgage network

This study explores the feasibility and utility of integrating environmental DNA (eDNA) assessments of species occurrences into the United States (U.S.) Geological Survey’s national streamgage network. We used an existing network of five gages in southwest Idaho to explore the type of information that could be gained as well as the associated costs and limitations. Hydrologic technicians were trai

Adding invasive species bio-surveillance to the U.S. Geological Survey streamgage network

The costs of invasive species in the United States alone are estimated to exceed US$100 billion per year so a critical tactic in minimizing the costs of invasive species is the development of effective, early-detection systems. To this end, we evaluated the efficacy of adding environmental (e)DNA surveillance to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamgage network, which consists of > 8,200 stream

An analytical framework for estimating aquatic species density from environmental DNA

Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis of water samples is on the brink of becoming a standard monitoring method for aquatic species. This method has improved detection rates over conventional survey methods and thus has demonstrated effectiveness for estimation of site occupancy and species distribution. The frontier of eDNA applications, however, is to infer species density. Building upon previous st

Exploring the use of environmental DNA to determine the species of salmon redds

Annual redd counts are used to monitor the status and trends of salmonid populations, but methods to easily and reliably determine which of sympatric species made specific redds are lacking. We explored whether environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis might prove useful for determining the species of salmon redds. We collected eDNA samples from the interstitial spaces of redds of Chinook Salmon Oncorhync

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

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, r

Salmon redd identification using environmental DNA (eDNA)

IntroductionThe purpose of this project was to develop a technique to use environmental DNA (eDNA) to distinguish between redds made by Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and redds made by Coho salmon (O. kisutch) and to distinguish utilized redds from test/abandoned redds or scours that have the appearance of redds. The project had two phases:Phase 1. Develop, test, and optimize a molecula

Environmental DNA sampling protocol - filtering water to capture DNA from aquatic organisms

Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis is an effective method of determining the presence of aquatic organisms such as fish, amphibians, and other taxa. This publication is meant to guide researchers and managers in the collection, concentration, and preservation of eDNA samples from lentic and lotic systems. A sampling workflow diagram and three sampling protocols are included as well as a list of sug

Characterizing the distribution of an endangered salmonid using environmental DNA analysis

Determining species distributions accurately is crucial to developing conservation and management strategies for imperiled species, but a challenging task for small populations. We evaluated the efficacy of environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis for improving detection and thus potentially refining the known distribution of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Methow and Okanogan Subbasins

Application of environmental DNA for inventory and monitoring of aquatic species

This fact sheet was created to help biologists and resource managers understand emerging methods for detecting environmental DNA and their potential application for inventorying and monitoring aquatic species. It is a synthesis of published information.