What’s in the Water? Using environmental DNA for Marine Monitoring and Planning

Coral reefs, the most biodiverse of all marine ecosystems, are of high ecological, cultural, and financial importance, yet they are declining on a global scale due to several anthropogenic factors. Current threats to coral reefs highlight the urgent need for effective research, monitoring, and management of these ecosystems. In this case study-based exercise, students will compare and contrast biodiversity information about Hawaiian reefs between traditional diver surveys and eDNA based applications, consider the benefits and limitations of each method for coral reef fish monitoring, and use these data to designate potential marine protected areas (MPAs). As part of this process, they will practice identifying species based on genetic sequencing data using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) of the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Lastly, students will be introduced to different approaches to protection of marine systems in Hawai‘i, including the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and reflect on the diversity of approaches to management of seascapes. 

Featured in: Lessons in Conservation: Conservation and Technology Issue

See also:
Marine Protected Areas and MPA Networks
Building Marine Reserve Networks to Fit Multiple Needs: An Introduction to Marine Spatial Planning Using SeaSketch

Themes: Conservation Tools, Conservation Management

Language: English

Region: Asia and the Pacific

Keywords: marine, Marine Protected Areas, monitoring, tools

Components: 3

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Recommended Resource: Scientists Monitor Coral Reef Ecosystems Throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago

Source: NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center

This article from NOAA describes the survey expeditions and research methods that their researchers undertake to assess and monitor the coral reef ecosystem in the Pacific. Published online April 19, 2019.


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Exercise: What’s in the Water? Using environmental DNA for Marine Monitoring and Planning

Author: K. Douglas, P. Shea, A. Porzecanski, E. Naro-Maciel

   

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Solutions: What’s in the Water? Using environmental DNA for Marine Monitoring and Planning

Author: K. Douglas, P. Shea, A. Porzecanski, E. Naro-Maciel


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