Data from: Estimating fish abundance and biomass from eDNA concentrations: variability among capture methods and environmental conditions
Lacoursière-Roussel, Anaïs; Rosabal-Rodriguez, Maikel; Bernatchez, Louis; Rosabal, Maikel (2016), Data from: Estimating fish abundance and biomass from eDNA concentrations: variability among capture methods and environmental conditions, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.46sm5
Environmental DNA (eDNA) promises to ease non-invasive quantification of fish biomass or abundance, but its integration within conservation and fisheries management is currently limited by a lack of understanding of the influence of eDNA collection method and environmental conditions on eDNA concentrations in water samples. Water temperature is known to influence the metabolism of fish and consequently could strongly affect eDNA release rate. As water temperature varies in temperate regions (both seasonally and geographically), the unknown effect of water temperature on eDNA concentrations poses practical limitations on quantifying fish populations using eDNA from water samples. This study aims to clarify how water temperature and the eDNA capture method alter the relationships between eDNA concentration and fish abundance/biomass. Water samples (1 L) were collected from 30 aquaria including triplicate of 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 Brook Charr specimens at two different temperatures. Water samples were filtered with five different types of filters. The eDNA concentration obtained by quantitative PCR (qPCR) varied significantly with fish abundance and biomass and type of filters (Mixed-design ANOVA, P < 0.001). Results also show that fish released more eDNA in warm water than cold water and that eDNA concentration better reflects fish abundance/biomass at high temperature. From a technical standpoint, higher levels of eDNA were captured with glass fiber (GF) than mixed cellulose ester (MCE) filters and support the importance of adequate filters to quantify fish abundance based on the eDNA method. This study supports the importance of including water temperature in fish abundance/biomass prediction models based on eDNA.