At the forefront: evidence of the applicability of using environmental DNA to quantify the abundance of fish populations in natural lentic waters with additional sampling considerations

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TitleAt the forefront: evidence of the applicability of using environmental DNA to quantify the abundance of fish populations in natural lentic waters with additional sampling considerations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKlobucar, SL, Rodgers, TW, Budy, P
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Pagination1 - 5
Date Published08/2017
ISSN0706-652X
Abstract

Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling has proven to be a valuable tool for detecting species in aquatic ecosystems. Within this rapidly evolving field, a promising application is the ability to obtain quantitative estimates of relative species abundance based on eDNA concentration rather than traditionally labor-intensive methods. We investigated the relationship between eDNA concentration and Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) abundance in five well-studied natural lakes; additionally, we examined the effects of different temporal (e.g., season) and spatial (e.g., depth) scales on eDNA concentration. Concentrations of eDNA were linearly correlated with char population estimates ( = 0.78) and exponentially correlated with char densities ( = 0.96 by area; 0.82 by volume). Across lakes, eDNA concentrations were greater and more homogeneous in the water column during mixis; however, when stratified, eDNA concentrations were greater in the hypolimnion. Overall, our findings demonstrate that eDNA techniques can produce effective estimates of relative fish abundance in natural lakes. These findings can guide future studies to improve and expand eDNA methods while informing research and management using rapid and minimally invasive sampling.

URLhttp://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/10.1139/cjfas-2017-0114
DOI10.1139/cjfas-2017-0114
Short TitleCan. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci.