eDNA Metabarcoding ‐ A new approach to monitoring of restoration

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Paul Nevill

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Recent decades have seen a marked increase in both the scope and complexity of ecological restoration projects, partly in response to the increasing scale and severity of degradation to natural ecosystems. Individual restoration projects now operate over scales from hectares to hundreds of square kilometres and are increasingly underpinned by diverse and multidisciplinary science. These projects must be supported by measurable and realistic outcomes and standardised, accurate, and reliable approaches to their monitoring. However, studies indicate that monitoring is conducted ineffectually, or not at all, resulting in a poor return from restoration investments. This talk first outlines limitations of current approaches to monitoring biodiversity throughout ecological restoration, including their limited focus on the return of vegetation. I will then discuss how eDNA metabarcoding has potential to revolutionize the practical contribution of genetics to monitoring in a restoration context. I also discuss current limitations (e.g. assay design and taxonomic reference databases) to a DNA based approach to biodiversity assessment in restoration.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Society for Ecological Restoration