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Are environmental DNA methods ready for aquatic invasive species management?

May 3, 2020

Multiple studies have demonstrated environmental (e)DNA detections of rare, invasive species. However, invasive species managers struggle with using eDNA results because detections might not indicate species presence. We evaluated if eDNA methods have matured to a point where they can be widely applied to aquatic invasive species management. We found that eDNA methods meet legal standards for being admissible as evidence in most courts, suggesting that eDNA method reliability is not the problem. Rather, we suggest that the interface between results and management needs attention since there are few tools for integrating uncertainty into decision-making. Solutions include decision support trees based on molecular best practices that integrate the temporal and spatial trends in eDNA positives relative to human risk tolerance.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Are environmental DNA methods ready for aquatic invasive species management?
DOI 10.1016/j.tree.2020.03.011
Authors Adam J. Sepulveda, Nanette M Nelson, Christopher L. Jerde, Gordon Luikart
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Index ID 70216406
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center