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Biodiversity Online J

Environmental DNA (eDNA) as an Effective Monitoring Tool for Aquatic Biodiversity

  • Muhammad S*

    Research & Planning Wildlife, Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), Pakistan

    *Corresponding author: Muhammad Saeed, Assistant Director (Research & Planning Wildlife), Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), Ministry of Climate Change, Islamabad, Pakistan

Submission: July 15, 2022; Published: July 20, 2022


Monitoring of species is fundamental to their management and conservation. Conventional survey methods require taxonomic expertise, extensive field surveys, invasive (species handling) and high finances. Field surveys for the detection, distribution, and abundance of species in freshwater and particularly in marine ecosystems are challenging. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has merged as an alternative survey tool for the monitoring of aquatic species. The steps in eDNA methods include water sample collection from the field, DNA extraction, design and validation of species-specific primer, sequencing, and taxonomic assignment. The analysis of eDNA provides a relatively fast and inexpensive tool for collecting presence, distribution, and abundance data. Single samples can be used for the estimation of biodiversity of a particular area. Early detection of invasive species beneficial to control their invasion. The environmental DNA method becomes more advantageous when species are elusive, cryptic, and rare or in small or low numbers and are difficult to be detected with traditional survey techniques. If eDNA protocol standardize for freshwater and marine biodiversity, it has a great potential in future to be an effective survey tool at large scale biomonitoring of freshwater and marine ecosystems.

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