Environmental DNA for the enumeration and management of Pacific salmon

Levi, Taal, Allen, Jennifer M., Bell, Donovan, Joyce, John, Russell, Joshua R., Tallmon, David A., Vulstek, Scott C., Yang, Chunyan and Yu, Douglas W. (2019) Environmental DNA for the enumeration and management of Pacific salmon. Molecular Ecology Resources, 19 (3). pp. 597-608. ISSN 1755-098X

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Abstract

Pacific salmon are a keystone resource in Alaska, generating annual revenues of well over ~US$500 million/yr. Due to their anadromous life history, adult spawners distribute amongst thousands of streams, posing a huge management challenge. Currently, spawners are enumerated at just a few streams because of reliance on human counters and, rarely, sonar. The ability to detect organisms by shed tissue (environmental DNA, eDNA) promises a more efficient counting method. However, although eDNA correlates generally with local fish abundances, we do not know if eDNA can accurately enumerate salmon. Here we show that daily, and near‐daily, flow‐corrected eDNA rate closely tracks daily numbers of returning sockeye and coho spawners and outmigrating sockeye smolts. eDNA thus promises accurate and efficient enumeration, but to deliver the most robust numbers will need higher‐resolution stream‐flow data, at‐least‐daily sampling, and a focus on species with simple life histories, since shedding rate varies amongst jacks, juveniles, and adults.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2019 10:30
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2020 23:51
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/69695
DOI: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/394445v2

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