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ORGANIC MATTER REDUCES THE AMOUNT OF DETECTABLE ENVIRONMENTAL DNA IN FRESHWATER
  • +3
  • Kees van Bochove,
  • Freek Bakker,
  • Kevin Beentjes,
  • Lia Hemerik,
  • Rutger Vos,
  • Barbara GRAVENDEEL
Kees van Bochove
Wageningen University and Research
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Freek Bakker
Wageningen University and Research
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Kevin Beentjes
Naturalis Biodiversity Center
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Lia Hemerik
Wageningen University and Research
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Rutger Vos
Naturalis Biodiversity Center
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Barbara GRAVENDEEL
Naturalis Biodiversity Center
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Abstract

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is used for monitoring the occurrence of freshwater organisms. Various studies show a relation between the amount of eDNA detected and target organism abundance, thus providing a potential proxy for reconstructing population densities. However, environmental factors such as water temperature and microbial activity are known to affect the amount of eDNA present as well In this study, we use controlled aquarium experiments using Gammarus pulex L. (Amphipoda) to investigate the relationship between the amount of detectable eDNA through time, pH, and levels of organic material. We found eDNA to degrade faster when organic material was added to the aquarium water, but that pH had no significant effect. We infer that eDNA contained inside cells and mitochondria is extra resilient against degradation, though this may not reflect actual presence of target species. These results indicate that, although estimation of population density might be possible using eDNA, measured eDNA concentration could, in the future, be corrected for local environmental conditions in order to ensure accurate comparisons.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

24 Jan 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
25 Jan 2020Assigned to Editor
25 Jan 2020Submission Checks Completed
25 Jan 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
04 Feb 2020Editorial Decision: Accept