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Fish & amphibian surveys using eDNA    


Use eDNA metabarcoding to reveal the diversity of fish and amphibians in your waterbody.


Applicable to ponds, lakes, rivers and oceans, this is an efficient, non-invasive & cost-effective way of obtaining high quality data on fish and amphibian communities. A single sample can detect a wide variety of species, and a relatively small number of samples can capture the vast majority of species even in large lakes.


In the Field

All you have to do is collect and filter water samples. Our easy-to-use sampling kits come with full instructions, and have no complex requirements for storage or transportation.


eDNA filter sampling in action - here on a boat in Poole Harbour (photo credit: Gavin Black)



In the Lab

The test is similar to the GCN eDNA test, but rather than just looking for the DNA of one particular species in the water sample (is Species X here?), we use a more general assay to amplify the DNA of all the fish and amphibians in the sample. The amplified DNA is then sequenced on a high-throughput sequencer to uncover community diversity (what species are here?). This process is known as eDNA metabarcoding.


What does the data look like?

Below is an example dataset based on samples taken around our offices in Surrey. Each column is one site, and the shaded cells indicate which species were present at each. The numbers tell you how many sequences were obtained for each species in each sample.





We have conducted fish surveys in pond, lake, river, estuary, and ocean ecosystems, and we never fail to be amazed by the quality of the information obtained. Contact us to try it out and see for yourself!  


Cost: £200 + VAT per sample, including sampling kit. The output is a species x sample table much like the one shown above and turnaround time is approximately four weeks.



i. Remember that DNA can move in the environment (especially downstream in flowing water) so think carefully about whether this method will provide the information you need if you are working in rivers or streams. 

ii. Inappropriate sampling design can lead to useless data whatever survey method you use, so make sure you plan your sampling carefully.