Term of Award

Fall 2021

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Department

Department of Biology

Committee Chair

John Carroll

Committee Member 1

Stephen Greiman

Committee Member 2

Jamie Roberts

Abstract

Environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys have developed over the last decade from once being a novel tool to now acting as an effective technology often used in complement to traditional capture surveys for assessing the distribution of organisms in freshwater and marine environments. However, many uncertainties on how to properly develop, operate, and analyze eDNA based techniques still hinder this technology effectiveness in the field. The white shrimp, Litopenaeus setiferus, is a common, commercially and recreationally important species in the United States, with landings exceeding $254 million in 2020. L. setiferus is also used as a key indicator species to changes in estuarine water quality and habitat. Given the commercial and ecological value of L. setiferus, they represented a useful species to explore the utility of eDNA techniques for fishery monitoring. In this study, I examined how L. setiferus abundance and biomass correlated to the amount of eDNA found in the environment, while investigating how factors like temperature effect eDNA detection over time. However, this study yielded mixed results bearing difficulties with assay specificity, and sample amplification, highlighting the challenges associated with using eDNA sampling on marine crustaceans. Ultimately, these findings emphasized the need for standardized assay validations and the importance of appropriate selection of target species, environment, sampling, and detection method before trying to comprehensively use eDNA technologies for fisheries management.

Research Data and Supplementary Material

No

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