About this Research Topic
Over the past decade, environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis has emerged as a powerful ecological application. Myriad studies have demonstrated the power of this emerging method to find species based on diverse environmental samples including fresh and marine waters, terrestrial soils, and even air. Surveys for microbes, invertebrates, and vertebrates have all been achieved with eDNA methods. Calibration experiments and comparisons between eDNA and “traditional” survey methods have contributed to the quantification of sensitivity and accuracy of eDNA methods relative to existing methods; many projects have pushed the technology beyond simple presence/absence toward quantification of individuals or biomass, and the combination of eDNA and next-generation sequencing methods are poised to move the field from single-species approaches to whole-community characterization.
Rapid technical advancement and creative applications have poised eDNA methodology to become a major source of innovation for the field of conservation biology. This Research Topic will bring together a group of studies aimed at highlighting the breadth of eDNA-based conservation applications that exist across diverse taxa and habitats. Together, this collection of diverse eDNA innovations for conservation biology will help synthesize connections across the field and identify major questions and research priorities to promote continued growth and development of eDNA applications for conservation biology.
Keywords: ecology, conservation, innovation, environmental DNA, eDNA
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