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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Great Lakes Fisheries and Aquatic Biota: eDNA Technology in Monitoring and Management

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AUTHORS: Meredith B. Nevers, Murulee N. Byappanahalli - U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center

ABSTRACT: As science and management seek to improve population monitoring efficiency to conserve native species and identify invasive threats, emerging technologies such as environmental DNA (eDNA) have great potential to transform our monitoring strategies. Traditional aquatic monitoring can rely on labor- and gear-intensive field surveys, often followed by time-intensive species identification in the laboratory. With multiple threats facing aquatic communities of the Great Lakes and Midwest waterways, resource managers need to be able to maximize the extent of monitoring surveys and efficiency of information collection. DNA-based methods are emerging as a potential tool to fill many of these gaps. Because organisms constantly shed DNA into the aqueous environment (through shedding, defecation, spawning, etc.), they can be detected and quantified using DNA markers captured in a water sample. We highlight the application of eDNA technology for the detection of the invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) and rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) in Lakes Michigan and Huron and associated waterways as well as for identification of spawning activity in the native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in Lake Ontario. Our results indicate that using eDNA could be a powerful surrogate for monitoring the round goby, which eludes capture using most traditional trapping methods. eDNA may also be used as an early detection technology, as in the case of the rusty crayfish. Further, applying eDNA technology to questions of spawning habitat could inform restoration activities and highlight successes. There are vast opportunities to integrate eDNA into existing monitoring programs, which will allow significantly greater coverage and opportunities to conserve native and endangered species.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer