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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #380888

Research Project: Development of Ecological Strategies for Invasive Plant Management and Rehabilitation of Western Rangelands

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Title: Strategic considerations for invasive species managers to utilize environmental DNA (eDNA): everything you need to know but were afraid to ask

item MORISETTE, JEFFREY - US Department Of Interior
item BRANTLEY, KELSEY - US Department Of Interior
item BURGIEL, STANLEY - US Department Of Interior
item DANIEL, WESLEY - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item DARLING, JOHN - Us Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
item DAVIS, JEANETTE - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
item FRANKLIN, THOMAS - Us Forest Service (FS)
item GADDIS, KEITH - National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA)
item HUNTER, MARGARET - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item LANCE, RICHARD - Us Army Corp Of Engineers (USACE)
item Leskey, Tracy
item PASSAMANECK, YALE - Bureau Of Reclamation
item PIAGGIO, ANTOINETTE - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Rector, Brian
item SEPULVEDA, ADAM - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item Smith, Melissa
item STEPIEN, CAROL - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
item WILCOX, TAYLOR - Us Forest Service (FS)

Submitted to: Management of Biological Invasions
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Surveys for invasive species within natural environments are essential to monitoring spread and devising management strategies of these unwanted, often destructive organisms. New technologies allow the improvement of such surveys through the detection of invasive species DNA within the environment, e.g. from shed skin cells or faeces. Such sampling of environmental DNA, or eDNA, for the indirect detection of invasive species has proven to be effective and of great value to land managers and regulators charged with managing invasive species. However, many such regulators have been hesitant to adopt eDNA methods and data, likely due to lack of experience with or understanding of the technology and its potential benefits. This manuscript provides comprehensive information on all aspects of the utilization of eDNA protocols with a focus on their utility to invasive species management, written with a target audience of federal, state, and local government regulators.

Technical Abstract: Environmental DNA (eDNA) is broadly defined as any organismal DNA present within a given environment. In the domain of invasive species management, eDNA sampling and analysis provides a highly sensitive approach to infer the presence of one or more targeted invasive species or the composition of multiple species in the community. Based on existing application and established programs, consideration of wider utilization of eDNA techniques for invasive species surveillance is warranted. Yet, interpretation and use of eDNA results differ from the use and interpretation of traditional sampling. Also, since the field is rapidly evolving, its application may require considerable technical capacity. This paper covers topics directed toward invasive species managers and eDNA practitioners working at the intersection of eDNA techniques and invasive species surveillance. It provides background information on the utility of eDNA in invasive species management and points to various examples of its use across federal and international programs. It provides information on 1) deciding whether eDNA is useful for a given application, 2) practical considerations for including eDNA as a tool in invasive species management surveillance, and 3) a high-level overview of the technical steps necessary for eDNA analysis. The goal of this paper is to assist invasive species managers in deciding if, when, and how to use eDNA for surveillance. If it is used, the paper provides guidance on steps to ensure a clear understanding of the strengths and limitation of the methods and how results can be best utilized in the context of invasive species surveillance.