Best practice guidelines for environmental DNA biomonitoring in Australia and New Zealand

Maarten De Brauwer, Laurence J. Clarke, Anthony Chariton, Madalyn K. Cooper, Mark de Bruyn, Elise Furlan, Anna J. MacDonald, Meaghan L. Rourke, Craig D.H. Sherman, Leonie Suter, Cecilia Villacorta-Rath, Anastasija Zaiko, Alejandro Trujillo-González

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental DNA (eDNA)-based methods are increasingly used by government agencies to detect pests and threatened species, and for broader biodiversity monitoring. Given rapid technological advances and a growing number of commercial service providers, there is a need to standardize methods for quality assurance and to maintain confidence in eDNA-based results. Here, we introduce two documents to provide best-practice guidelines for Australian and New Zealand eDNA researchers and end-users (available from https://sednasociety.com/publications): the Environmental DNA protocol development guide for biomonitoring provides minimum standard considerations for eDNA and environmental RNA projects across the complete workflow, from ethical considerations and experimental design to interpreting and communicating results. The Environmental DNA test validation guidelines outline key steps to be used in assay development and validation for species-specific testing and metabarcoding. Both guidelines were developed as an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and led by the Southern eDNA Society in a collaborative process including multiple consultation rounds with eDNA experts, end-users, and stakeholders to adapt the guidelines to Australian and New Zealand needs. The aim of these guidelines is not to be prescriptive, but to set minimum standards to support a consistent and best-practice approach to eDNA testing. We anticipate that the guidelines will be reviewed and regularly updated as required. Our aspiration is that these best-practice guidelines will ensure environmental managers are provided with robust scientific evidence to support decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-423
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental DNA
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

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