Using Environmental DNA to Efficiently Detect an Endangered Species

Document Type


Publication Date





Detection of environmental DNA (eDNA) has become a commonly used surveillance method for threatened or invasive vertebrates in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. However, its application for the detection of invertebrates is not as well developed. Environmental DNA protocols can be especially useful for endangered invertebrates such as the Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) where conservation efforts have been greatly hindered by training, time, overall costs, and environmental impacts associated with conducting surveys in the calcareous fens occupied by this species. An essential step in developing such a protocol is to evaluate the dynamics of eDNA concentration throughout a season to determine the most efficient sampling time. Our results indicate that S. hineana eDNA concentration in a habitat peaks during summer months and is lowest during the spring and fall. We suspect this is primarily due to the seasonal behavior patterns of this species. These data can be used to direct sampling efforts and will be used to guide habitat restoration and other conservation efforts.

First Advisor

Hugh Britten

Second Advisor

Jeff Wesner

Research Area


This document is currently not available here.