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From molecules to management: adopting DNA-based methods for monitoring biological invasions in aquatic environments
DARLING, J. AND A. R. Mahon. From molecules to management: adopting DNA-based methods for monitoring biological invasions in aquatic environments. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH. Academic Press Incorporated, Orlando, FL, 111(7):978-988, (2011).
Recent technological advances have driven rapid development of DNA-based methods designed to facilitate detection and monitoring of invasive species in aquatic environments. These tools promise to significantly alleviate difficulties associated with traditional monitoring approaches by increasing detection sensitivity, reducing analytical trunaround times and monitoring costs, and improving specificity of target identifications. However, despite the promise of DNA-based monitoring methods, the adoption and acceptance of these tools in real world decision-making frameworks remains challenging. Here, rather than explore the technical aspects of method development, we examine the impediments to effective translation of those methods into management contexts. In addition to surveying the current use of DNA-based tools for aquatic invasive species monitoring, we explore the potential sources of uncertainty associated with molecular technologies and possibilities for both limiting that uncertainty and effectively communicating its implications for decision-making. We pay particularly close attention to the recent adoption of DNA-based methods for the detection of invasive Asian carp species in the Great Lakes region of the United States, as this example illustrates many of the challenges associated with applying molecular tools to achieve desired management outcomes.
Our goal is to provide a useful assessment of the obstacles associated with integrating DNA-based methods into aquatic invasive species management, and to offer recommendations for future efforts aimed at overcoming those obstacles.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB
ECOLOGICAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH DIVISION
MOLECULAR ECOLOGY RESEARCH BRANCH