Designing Monitoring Programs for Aquatic Species Using Environmental DNA

Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP)
Oral Presentation

Prepared by , C. Goldberg, A. Fremier

Contact Information:; 509-335-6435


Analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA) found in aquatic systems is emerging as a powerful technique for detecting aquatic species, but more work is needed to develop cost-efficient protocols for collection and analysis of water samples. Using pilot eDNA protocols, we paired field and eDNA surveys to investigate covariates of detection across a range of conditions and species in Arizona, Idaho, and Florida. We found that factors limiting detection of species vary across systems and some customization of sampling design is required for different aquatic systems. Recommendations for eDNA sampling design include guidelines for spatial distribution of samples, selection of filter materials to optimize sample volume, the number of samples for detection in varying environmental conditions, and potential complementary use of eDNA with traditional field surveys.