eDNA as a quantitative tool: assessment of European carp population densities in Australian waterways
To date, aquarium-based eDNA trials have shown some preliminary evidence for an association between the number of eDNA copies and the biomass of target aquatic species. However, much research remains to be done to investigate its limitations when applied to field settings, and in particular the capacity to estimate species densities. This project will use a combination of aquarium trails and field experiments to develop eDNA techniques to detect the highly invasive European carp in Australian waterways. We will design experiments to investigate sampling methodology and use quantitative DNA analysis to determine whether any correlation exists between eDNA quantity and carp density.