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Environmental DNA: An emerging tool for understanding aquatic biodiversity

March 31, 2020

Field surveys for aquatic organisms provide critical information that is important for robust resource management. However, such surveys are expensive and labor intensive, particularly in large, remote landscapes like those that characterize much of Alaska. Traditionally, characterizing aquatic biodiversity necessitated the physical capture and identification of individual organisms, which required that field crews have some level of expertise in identifying the species likely to be present. Many other limitations of surveys that rely on direct observation of aquatic organisms have been noted (Evans and Lamberti 2018). However, what if it were possible to identify all of the species present at a site without having to capture or even see them? While we are not there yet, the recent revolution in environmental DNA (eDNA) technology is bringing us closer to that goal (Thomsen and Willerslev 2014).

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Environmental DNA: An emerging tool for understanding aquatic biodiversity
Authors Trey Simmons, Damian M. Menning, Sandra L. Talbot
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Alaska Park Science
Index ID 70216743
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB