Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020NH223B

Invasive Species Detection in New Hampshire lakes and streams using Environmental DNA (eDNA) - 2020 Pilot study

Institute: New Hampshire
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-03-01 End Date: 2021-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $19,990 Total Non-Federal Funds: $40,095

Principal Investigators: Alison Watts

Abstract: Invasive species are exotic species (not native to the ecosystem) whose introduction disturbs the existing ecosystem dynamics, and cause harm to environmental or human health. Invasive species in aquatic systems include fish, plants and invertebrates. Early detection of these organisms provide resource managers with a window of opportunity to mitigate or isolate an infestation. Surveillance methods generally rely on time-consuming visual surveys or plankton towns, and the extent of survey work is limited by cost and available personnel time. Environmental DNA (eDNA) is emerging as a powerful tool to detect species in aquatic environments, and can provide a lower cost means of detecting invasive organisms. The proposed project will work closely with New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services Exotic Species Program to develop and test eDNA detection methods for three invasive species of concern in New Hampshire. The validated methods will be used to provide guidance for application of the method for these species in New Hampshire and other New England states.