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SFS Annual Meeting

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HIGH-THROUGHPUT ENVIRONMENTAL DNA ANALYSIS INFORMS BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF AN URBAN STREAM

There is growing interest in the use of DNA barcoding and metabarcoding approaches to aid biological assessments and monitoring of waterbodies. While biodiversity measured by morphology and by DNA often has been found correlated, few studies have compared DNA data to established measures of biological condition, such as indices based on pollution tolerant and sensitive metrics used by many bioassessment programs. We incorporated environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding of seston into a watershed-scale bioassessment of an urban stream to examine the extent to which DNA patterns correlated with multimetric indices and ecological impairment status designations. Seston eDNA revealed a wide diversity of eukaryotic taxa but was dominated by diatoms (36%). Correlations among seston DNA diversity and multimetric indices for fish and macroinvertebrates were generally weak, possibly because Metazoa were not highly represented in our DNA dataset. Nonetheless, sites could be differentiated based on the biological condition status, with more impaired sites having lower seston eDNA diversity as measured by the Shannon index, but higher taxonomic richness. These results suggest that even a simple seston DNA filtering protocol can provide biodiversity information of value to stream bioassessment programs.

Mark Bagley (Primary Presenter/Author), US Environmental Protection Agency, bagley.mark@epa.gov;


Erik Pilgrim (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USEPA/NERL/SED, Cincinnati, OH, pilgrim.erik@epa.gov;


Martin Knapp (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Midwest Biodiversity Institute, mknapp@mwbinst.com;


Chris Yoder (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Midwest Biodiversity Institute, cyoder@mwbinst.com;


Jorge Santo Domingo (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Environmental Protection Agency, santodomingo.jorge@epa.gov;


Aabir Banerji (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. EPA, banerji.aabir@epa.gov;