Wildlife in a water sample

We offer eDNA services across the tree of life from fish and other vertebrates to bacteria, bivalves and more. Get in touch for a quote.

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Project coordinators on hand to support you

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Expert eDNA scientists delivering your data

With aquatic eDNA surveys, you can:

Survey whole taxonomic groups

or

Test for the presence of a single species

Survey whole taxonomic groups

Metabarcoding

Metabarcoding is our core expertise at NatureMetrics and we are at the forefront of this industry.

We can provide you with eDNA metabarcoding services at high-capacity whilst still retaining the quality and personalised experience that we are known for.

eDNA from Water - Fish
eDNA from Water - Mammals
eDNA from Water - Bacteria
eDNA from Water - Vertebrates
eDNA from Water - Bivalves
eDNA from Water - Invertebrates

Fish

Our Fish MBC Survey service uses metabarcoding of the 12S gene to characterise fish species diversity from eDNA samples. This is a highly-validated and widely-used analysis that has been shown to outperform electrofishing for fish community assessment. Semi-quantitative data is obtained from this analysis (see FAQs for more info) and fish can be surveyed year-round.

Mammals

Our Mammal MBC service provides data on aquatic and semi-aquatic animals and has been used to survey a wide range of species including otters, water voles, beavers, and cetaceans (whales & dolphins). It also detects many terrestrial species that visit the water or whose DNA has been washed into the water by rainfall. Research shows that eDNA metabarcoding is at least as powerful as other survey techniques for terrestrial species, providing data on both large (e.g. deer, badgers) and small (e.g. mice, shrews, voles) mammals. Mammals can be detected year-round.

Bacteria

Our Bacteria MBC service targets the 16S DNA variable region 4. Bacterial metabarcoding is often utilised for detecting environmental changes caused by, for example, land management practises, habitat restoration activities, aquaculture practices, offshore drilling, sewage effluent inputs and climate change. Due to the vast taxonomic diversity of bacteria and resultant incomplete reference databases, bacterial eDNA data are usually reported at the family, order or phylum level.

Vertebrates

Our Vertebrate MBC service targets entire vertebrate communities, including fish, amphibians, mammals and birds. The trade-off of the wider taxonomic breadth is that there are a small number of closely-related pairs of fish species that cannot be separated using this assay (e.g. pike and zander). Our team can work with you to decide which is the best assay for the needs of your project. Vertebrates can be surveyed year-round but amphibian detection may be seasonal depending on ecology and lifehistory of each species.

Bivalves

Bivalves can be detected year-round. Our Unionidae MBC Service targets freshwater mussels from the Unionidae family, including the endangered freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera), duck mussel (Anodonta anatina), swan mussel (Anodonta cygnea), depressed mussel (Pseudanodonta complanata), and painted mussel (Unio pictorum). Our Venerida MBC service targets mussels and clams from other families. This includes the Dreissenidae species such as zebra mussels (Driessena polymorpha) and quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis), which are invasive in the UK, as well as Sphaeridae species including pea mussels (Pisidium tenuilineatum). It also detects the invasive Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea) and several other clam species.

Macroinvertebrates

Detect aquatic insects such as indicator groups of water beetles and EPT taxa (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera). Overcome the common challenges of taxonomic ID for species in morphologically intractable groups like the Chironomidae.

Biotic indices can be generated from macroinvertebrate eDNA data, but note that this is not yet accepted by regulators and therefore cannot be used for WFD assessments.

We also survey aquatic invertebrates using bulk samples. Learn more on our invertebrates page.

Test for the presence of a single species

Our qPCR tests are used to screen for the presence of particular species in a sample

Great Crested Newts

Season: April – June
Validation level: 4

White Clawed Crayfish

Season: April – October
Validation level: 3

Crayfish Plague

Season: Year-round
Validation level: 3

Signal Crayfish

Season: April – November
Validation level: 3

Zebra Mussels

Season: Year-round
Validation level: 3

Chytrid Fungus

Validation level: 3

*With four of the introduced crayfish species in the UK known to carry crayfish plague (CP) Aphanomyces astaci, our qPCR CP test will detect the presence of CP in your sample.

**We offer tests for both B. dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans.

Not sure what service suits your project?

For more complex projects you can perform multiple tests on each individual sample, enabling you to build a monitoring programme that suits your exact needs.

Get in Touch

Aquatic eDNA is fast becoming an established tool for monitoring fish, amphibians and other wildlife and NatureMetrics has been at the forefront of this since 2016.

DISCUSS YOUR PROJECT WITH OUR EXPERTS

How do the NatureMetrics eDNA filters work in the field?

Step 1: Collect eDNA

1. COLLECT

Step 2: Filter eDNA

2. FILTER

Step 3: Send via Mobile App

3. SEND

Our user-friendly iDNAture kits contain everything you need to sample eDNA from ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, canals, estuaries, and oceans.

Watch our aquatic eDNA training video below for full instructions on collecting, filtering and preserving your environmental DNA samples.

Why NatureMetrics?

Ease of use – Our kits are tried and tested by diverse groups across the world.

The NatureMetrics FieldMate App empowers you to collect and submit your field data on the go.

Our highly specialised team includes 18+ postdoctoral level scientists.

Compliant with all Natural England, UK and EU eDNA requirements, laws and legislations.

eDNA samples can be hard to work with – we take the time to troubleshoot difficult samples to ensure you get the best possible results.

Specialist eDNA facilities with robust quality control procedures at every stage of the process.

Setting the standard for eDNA monitoring. Find out more about our collaborations and projects in the Info Hub.

NatureMetrics:
Aquatic eDNA in action

Working with collaborators across Europe, we have helped to draft the first European standard for eDNA sampling.

Beyond Europe, using our aquatic eDNA kits and Vertebrate MBC analysis service in the Peruvian Amazon, WWF Peru detected nearly 400 vertebrate species in just 44 water samples collected from rivers in the Northern Peruvian Amazon.

“Our team of researchers was able to collect 44 samples from 11 sample points along the Maranon in only 7 days… The four commercially important fish species were all detected in multiple locations, the number dependent on the species. Moreover, the same samples and analysis detected a total of 392 unique vertebrate taxa, including 293 fish.” – WWF Peru

Environmental DNA

Animals leave traces of DNA in water. This ‘environmental DNA’ can be captured by filtering the water with our custom-designed eDNA sampling kits. The filter is then sent to our laboratory for analysis according to the services you select.

Left with more questions about eDNA?

Visit our info hub for detailed information on our core technologies, scientific publications and webinars.

Visit the Info Hub

Let our expert team help with your next aquatic project

Request a free quote
Contact Nature Metrics about your next aquatic project

We offer a wide range of biodiversity solutions

Great Crested Newt eDNA
Species from faeces
DNA from soils and sediments
Invertebrates
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