Webinar: Putting aquatic species on the map--The eDNAtlas and Archive for aquatic taxa in Western North America
Hosts: Great Northern and North Pacific LCCs
Presenters: Mike Young and Dan Isaak, US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
The ease, efficiency, and sensitivity of environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling of species in aquatic environments is leading to an explosion in its use across North America. In this presentation, we describe eDNA sampling technology and share first year field results from the ongoing range-wide, eDNA-based inventory of bull trout in the northwestern U.S. during which ~3,000 sites were sampled by dozens of partner agencies. Those results are already accessible via a dynamic web portal and serving many purposes, including constituting a durable biodiversity archive for answering questions about many species in future years.
We are currently in the planning process to sample thousands of additional sites during the summers of 2017 and 2018 and are partnering with groups willing to collect the field samples. As eDNA sampling continues its rapid expansion to other species and geographic areas, efficient coordination among agencies is required to minimize redundancy and maximize data sharing. The Aquatic eDNAtlas project is designed to meet that need and will provide an open-access database that encompasses eDNA samples collected throughout western North America and 12 western states. The website and database will be launched in the latter half of 2017 with ~10,000 initial samples and will be updated semi-annually with newly processed samples from those willing to share their data and working in coordination with the National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation. Data will be provided online in flexible digital formats that enable efficient use for many purposes that include species status assessments, trend monitoring, distribution modeling, detection and tracking of nonnative species invasions, and assessments of habitat restoration efforts.