All organisms leave traces of DNA in their environment and these can be extracted and analysed. Through water samples we can find out which species are present in a waterbody, or which individual that made footprints in the snow. The technique is called environmental DNA or eDNA and is now a fully operational inventory methodology after rapid development in recent years.
AquaBiota has good results from several projects in Sweden where we surveyed the species composition of fish from water sampled in lakes, streams and marine environments. The results from studies of fish communities show a species richness that cannot be detected by any of the traditional inventory methods (gillnet fishing / electric fishing). We have also successfully invented the species composition of bivalves, amphibians and mammals with eDNA. Reliability is very good, and the detection rate is higher than in conventional methods. Quality aspects are monitored continuously, and all completed projects have proven to hold very high quality.
The development is very fast and we actively participate in research and development of methods together with some of the other leading international players in the field. Currently, we are working on quality assurance of methods for analysing individuals of otters, lynx and polar bears based on DNA from footprints in snow.