Environmental DNA as a new method for early detection of New Zealand mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)

Freshwater Science
By: , and 

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Abstract

Early detection of aquatic invasive species is a critical task for management of aquatic ecosystems. This task is hindered by the difficulty and cost of surveying aquatic systems thoroughly. The New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) is a small, invasive parthenogenic mollusk that can reach very high population densities and severely affects ecosystem functioning. To assist in the early detection of this invasive species, we developed and validated a highly sensitive environmental deoxyribonucleic acid (eDNA) assay. We used a dose–response laboratory experiment to investigate the relationship between New Zealand mudsnail density and eDNA detected through time. We documented that as few as 1 individual in 1.5 L of water for 2 d could be detected with this method, and that eDNA from this species may remain detectable for 21 to 44 d after mudsnail removal. We used the eDNA method to confirm the presence of New Zealand mudsnail eDNA at densities as low as 11 to 144 snails/m2 in a eutrophic 5th-order river. Combined, these results demonstrate the high potential for eDNA surveys to assist with early detection of a widely distributed invasive aquatic invertebrate.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Environmental DNA as a new method for early detection of New Zealand mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)
Series title Freshwater Science
DOI 10.1899/13-046.1
Volume 32
Issue 3
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher The Society for Freshwater Science
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 9 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Freshwater Science
First page 792
Last page 800
Country New Zealand
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N