Making environmental DNA (eDNA) biodiversity records globally accessible

March 1st, 2021

An illustration of a landscape showing mountains, river, trees and underwater.

An illustration of the sources of eDNA data and its applications to environmental management.

Environmental DNA, or eDNA, is a revolutionary new way to measure biodiversity by collecting DNA shed from animals and plants into the environment and using it to identify species.

eDNA surveys are being increasingly used for biomonitoring because of its high accuracy, ability to identify all types of organisms from microbes to whales with a single method, and because it’s easy for anybody to collect samples.

Yet, the full value of eDNA biodiversity data is not being realised because it’s usually not made available in user-friendly formats outside of the research community.

In a recent publication, a team of Environomics FSP scientists and collaborators discuss how to improve the storage and access to biodiversity data created from eDNA with the aim of maximising the use of this growing resource.