Abstract Detail

Frontiers in Botany: Environmental DNA as an Emerging Tool for Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Plant Biodiversity

Molano-Flores, Brenda [1], Davis, Mark [1].

Frontiers in Botany: Environmental DNA as an Emerging Tool for Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Plant Biodiversity.

In the past decade, environmental DNA (eDNA) has ascended as a viable means of rapidly and accurately measuring, monitoring, and managing biodiversity. These technologies and methodologies have been quickly adopted for invertebrates and vertebrates in lentic, lotic, marine, terrestrial, and subterranean systems. In addition, eDNA from sediments and ice have provided insights into past and present biodiversity.  In some cases, eDNA has yielded previously inaccessible data and information. In others, eDNA has provided cost savings and efficiencies over conventional methods. In sum, eDNA has become an exciting new tool to measure, monitor, and manage biodiversity. Recently, botanist have embraced these approaches to gain insights into critical areas of plant diversity, distribution, and ecology. Emerging eDNA technology has successfully documented aquatic plant communities via metabarcoding, revealing both invasive and species of conservation concern in feral hog diets via fecal metabarcoding, uncovered plant-pollinator interactions via metabarcoding of both flowers and pollinators themselves, detection of herbivores based on external foliage feeding marks, and even the identification of flowering wind-pollinated plants via air sampling. In these contexts, eDNA is yielding novel insights and provide time and cost advantages over conventional methodologies. Ultimately, eDNA is a powerful tool for botanists to generate critical data and information in numerous contexts, to rapidly assess populations and communities, and to understand various aspects of plant ecology from past to present, and perhaps the future. In this symposium, a diverse panel of scientists actively engaged in research at the interface of eDNA and plant ecology will share their expertise and novel insights and inspire other botanists and ecologists to explore eDNA as a potential tool in their research. The goals of this symposium are to 1) document the state-of-the art of eDNA in botany, 2) technical challenges to design, sampling, and processing samples, 3) catalyze collaboration in and application of eDNA methodologies in measuring, monitoring, and managing plant biodiversity, and 4) showcase innovative ways to use this valuable tool.

1 - University Of Illinois, Illinois Natural History Survey, 1816 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL, 61820, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Abstract ID:3
Candidate for Awards:None

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