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Application of environmental DNA analysis to inform invasive fish eradication operations.

Davison, P.I., Copp, G.H., Créach, V., Vilizzi, L. and Britton, J.R., 2017. Application of environmental DNA analysis to inform invasive fish eradication operations. The Science of Nature - Naturwissenschaften, 104 (3-4), 35 -41.

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DOI: 10.1007/s00114-017-1453-9


Environmental DNA (eDNA) detection of non-native species has considerable potential to inform management decisions, including identifying the need for population control and/or eradication. An invasive species of European concern is the Asian cyprinid fish, topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva). Here, eDNA analyses were applied at a commercial angling venue in southern England to inform operations aiming to eradicate P. parva, which had only ever been observed in one of the venue's seven unconnected angling ponds. Eradication of P. parva was initially attempted by repeated depletion of the population using fish traps (crayfish traps fitted with 5 mm mesh netting) and the introduction of native predators over a 4-year period. The very low number of P. parva captured following these eradication efforts suggested a possible population crash. Conventional PCR analysis of water samples using species-specific primers was applied to all seven ponds to confirm that P. parva was present in only one pond, that the eradication attempt had indeed failed and that the species' distribution in the pond appeared to be restricted to three bankside locations. The continued presence of P. parva at these locations was confirmed by subsequent trapping. Water samples from an adjacent, unconnected stream were also analysed using the eDNA methodology, but no DNA of P. parva was detected. The results suggest that further management action to eradicate P. parva be focused on the pond shown to contain the isolated P. parva population and thereby eliminate the risk of further dispersal. This study is the first to apply eDNA analysis to assess the efficacy of an eradication attempt and to provide evidence that the species was unlikely to be present in the other ponds, thus reducing the resources needed to control the species.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Conventional PCR ; Fish trapping ; Non-native species management ; eDNA ; Animals ; Conservation of Natural Resources ; Cyprinidae ; DNA ; England ; Environmental Monitoring ; Introduced Species ; Polymerase Chain Reaction
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:29139
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:04 May 2017 10:27
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:04


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