Environmental DNA is an Effective Method to Monitor Aquatic Species in Various Freshwater Habitats

kayleigh mullen


This research investigated the use of DNA shed from individuals into the environment (eDNA) to monitor three amphibian species and two trout species associated with habitat intersected by Interstate-90 in Snoqualmie Pass, Washington. This included a large catchment area within creeks and nearby wetlands historically affected by I-90, including sites where significant habitat improvements had been made. Species-specific primers were used to detect three focal amphibians of varying local abundance and two focal trout species. This study showed successful detection of species across both lentic and lotic systems throughout the study area through efficient multiplexing (detection of multiple species in one reaction) via quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction. Results from this study, overall, showed that eDNA methods can produce results that reliably reflect target species’ presence across a large catchment area in an efficient manner.