Characterising patterns of aquatic biodiversity across coastal and inland ephemeral wetland habitats using eDNA technologies

Coleman, Harrison 2021, Characterising patterns of aquatic biodiversity across coastal and inland ephemeral wetland habitats using eDNA technologies, B. Environmental Science (Hons) thesis, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University.

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Title Characterising patterns of aquatic biodiversity across coastal and inland ephemeral wetland habitats using eDNA technologies
Author Coleman, Harrison
Institution Deakin University
School School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment
Degree type Honours
Degree name B. Environmental Science (Hons)
Thesis advisor Miller, Adam D.ORCID iD for Miller, Adam D. orcid.org/0000-0002-1632-7206
Sherman, CraigORCID iD for Sherman, Craig orcid.org/0000-0003-2099-0462
Matthews TyORCID iD for Matthews Ty orcid.org/0000-0002-0606-5433
Date submitted 2021-04-16
Keyword(s) environmental DNA
metabarcoding
wetland ecology
biodiversity surveying
Summary Environmental DNA (eDNA) technologies are revolutionising the field of wildlife monitoring, providing opportunities to detect native and invasive species via the genetic material they shed into the surrounding environment. While eDNA survey approaches have been applied widely in a range of aquatic habitats, often proving to be more sensitive than traditional survey approaches, applications in wetland habitats are limited. In this study, eDNA metabarcoding is used to map patterns of biodiversity across a range of coastal and inland ephemeral wetlands of varying condition in South-East Australia, with a key focus on fish, amphibian and bird communities. Significant patterns of biogeographic structuring between coastal and inland ephemeral wetlands were observed and expected, given the geographical isolation and natural hydrological differences between these habitats. However, habitat condition had little effect on community composition, highlighting the environmental value of even the most disturbed wetland habitats. Direct comparisons of eDNA and traditional survey data indicate that eDNA survey approaches were more sensitive in the detection of freshwater obligate taxa, while traditional methods might outperform eDNA in the detection of amphibians and birds. This demonstrates the value of adopting hybrid survey approaches that combine both eDNA and traditional survey methods for future wetland biodiversity assessments. Overall, this study provides valuable biodiversity overlays for wetland habitats in south-eastern Australia and provides a framework for guiding future wetland management.
Language eng
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 4104 Environmental management
Description of original 47 p.
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Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30150528

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