Back to top

SFS Annual Meeting

Poster Details

<< Back to Posters

ASSESSING THE UTILITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL DNA IN PREDICTING THE DISTRIBUTION OF ALASKAN FISH SPECIES

Predicting species distributions at large regional scales is time and resource intensive. Using predictors derived from earth observations and presence/absence data based on environmental DNA (eDNA) may improve both modeling efficiency and accuracy. Traditionally, species distribution models (SDMs) are derived from data produced by catch-based methods, requiring large field crews and specialized equipment. However, the ease and modest expense of collecting eDNA should increase sample size and reduce false negatives – both of which should promote more accurate models. We compared performance of SDMs based on random forest models for arctic grayling and burbot. Models were applied to six combinations of data, differing in sample type (eDNA versus traditional) and size. Models built with catch data and eDNA performed similarly. Burbot eDNA models had AUCs from 0.58-0.78 and sensitivities between 29-54%. Models based on catch data had AUCs from 0.54-0.77 and sensitivities between 12-47%. Grayling eDNA models had AUCs from 0.61-0.77 and sensitivities between 88-97%. Models based on catch data had AUCs from 0.63-0.8 and sensitivities between 53-98%. The combination of eDNA and robust modeling should help managers predict the occurrences of species of concern at unsampled locations across regions.

James Eddings (Primary Presenter/Author), Department of Watershed Sciences, National Aquatic Monitoring Center, and Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan Utah 84322-5210, james.eddings@aggiemail.usu.edu;


Emily Campbell (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), School of Natural Sciences, California State University Monterey Bay, CA, USA, embug50@gmail.com;


John Olson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), School of Natural Sciences, California State University Monterey Bay, CA, USA, joolson@csumb.edu;


Torrey Rodgers (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University, Logan Utah 84322-5210, torrey.w.rodgers@gmail.com;


Karen Mock (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University, Logan Utah 84322-5210, karen.mock@usu.edu;


Charles Hawkins (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Department of Watershed Sciences, National Aquatic Monitoring Center, and Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan Utah 84322-5210, chuck.hawkins@usu.edu;