Environmental DNA (eDNA) is increasingly used as a survey tool to infer species distributions. eDNA has advantages over traditional detection tools as it is non-invasive, samples are often easy to collect, and it reduces the need for taxonomic expertise. The technique does, however, require careful evaluation of sensitivity.
We have developed a framework to estimate the sensitivity of both the field and laboratory components of this method, and combine them to estimate overall sensitivity. This framework has been applied to species-specific eDNA surveys to estimate the sensitivity, or probability of detection, for three invasive aquatic species in Australia; redfin perch (Perca fluviatilis), carp (Cyprinus carpio), and Oriental weatherloach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus).
To utilise eDNA as a management tool, the sensitivity of eDNA detection surveys has to be estimated and accounted for. This framework enables researchers to quantify overall sensitivity of a particular eDNA survey method, and to optimise sampling regimes. This ultimately provides the most robust data to inform management actions.
Read the full story here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1755-0998.12483