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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 in the utilization of environmental DNA (eDNA): steps for incorporating this powerful surveillance tool

item MORISETTE, JEFFREY - US Department Of Interior
item BURGIEL, STANLEY - US Department Of Interior
item BRANTLEY, KELSEY - 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: 7/9/2021
Citation: Morisette J, Burgiel S, Brantley K, Daniel WM, Darling J, Davis J, Franklin T, Gaddis K, Hunter M, Lance R, Leskey T, Passamaneck Y, Piaggio A, Rector B, Sepulveda A, Smith M, Stepien CA, Wilcox T (2021) Strategic considerations for invasive species managers in the utilization of environmental DNA (eDNA): steps for incorporating this powerful surveillance tool. Management of Biological Invasions 12(3): 747–775,

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: Invasive species surveillance programs can utilize environmental DNA sampling and analysis to provide information on the presence of invasive species. Wider utilization of eDNA techniques for invasive species surveillance may be warranted. This paper covers topics directed towards 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 for invasive species management and points to various examples of its use across federal and international programs. It provides information on 1) why an invasive species manager should consider using eDNA, 2) deciding if eDNA can help with the manager’s surveillance needs, 3) important components to operational implementation, and 4) 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 eDNA use is elected, 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.