Biodiversity Monitoring Using Environmental DNA
Monitoring biodiversity is essential to protect, preserve and restore ecosystems, particularly in the context of current challenges such as climate change, habitat destruction and globalization (Baird & Hajibabaei, 2012). Biomonitoring is needed for developing biotic indices for assessing ecological status, measuring impacts of anthropogenic activities in natural ecosystems, evaluating biodiversity loss, surveying nonindigenous species, conservation, and identifying cryptic species (Balvanera et al., 2006; Fišer et al., 2018). Thus, spatially and temporally structured biomonitoring activities provide a powerful tool for the implementation of regional, national and international regulations, directives and policies for nature conservation. The field of biodiversity monitoring through the analysis of the pool of DNA isolated from environmental samples, referred to as environmental DNA or eDNA (Pawlowski et al., 2020; Taberlet et al., 2012), is rapidly growing. The aim of this editorial is to contribute to producing good quality DNA data-derived essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) (Kissling et al., 2018) by providing guidance to the community submitting articles on the subject.
Rodríguez-Ezpeleta, N., L. Zinger, A. Kinziger, H.M. Bik, A. Bonin, E. Coissac, B.C. Emerson, C.M. Lopes, T.A. Pelletier, P. Taberlet, and S.R. Narum. 2021. Biodiversity monitoring using environmental DNA. Molecular Ecology Resources 21(5):1405-1409. Online at https://doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.13399.