Biodiversity unravelled in a water droplet.
eDNA - Start
Monitoring of aquatic biodiversity is of crucial importance to assess ecological water quality. Such information enables water authorities to address environmental problems and their appropriate solutions. In the European Union, the Habitat Directive and Water Framework Directive are important legislative drivers necessitating detailed information on ecological status and of action plans for restoration and effective management.
Identification of aquatic species using eDNA provides a promising new way to tackle biodiversity monitoring. With the number of taxonomic specialists declining, eDNA analysis may provide an important pathway to acquire data on the presence of species. By comparing validated DNA barcode data with the eDNA diversity obtained in water samples, biomonitoring can be done in an objective, automated way.
- The eDNA tool assists aquatic biomonitoring by providing a growing list of validated eDNA barcodes for a variety of aquatic species.
- The user community is key in providing species barcode information, which is subsequently validated and made available to all for proper species identification.
- Species barcode information can be uploaded to produce a proper identification of the species; also, validated barcode information for species available in the eDNA databank can be obtained.
- At present, the eDNA tool is a work-in-progress, and feedback on user experiences and needs is welcome.
Biodiversity monitoring is a key support for appropriate environmental management. The environmental DNA – or eDNA – tool helps by facilitating proper species identification and by sharing validated DNA barcode information in a reference database.
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