Could this collection method be used to track invasive species and their spread?
Yes, eDNA is a great surveillance tool for invasive species because it can often detect them at much lower populations levels than conventional surveys would. If the species in question is in the reference library, we will be able to identify it in metabarcoding datasets. Single-species qPCR tests can also be used to screen for the presence of particular species. There are good qPCR tests for species such as zebra and quagga mussels, and signal crayfish, and in the US eDNA has been used extensively for tracking the invasion of Asian carp in waterways around the Great Lakes (e.g. Jerde et al., 2013).
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