DNA based methods offer a significant opportunity to change how we monitor and assess biodiversity. However, for most techniques, there is still much development required before they can be used in routine monitoring. Natural England has been exploring the use of these methods for environmental monitoring for several years, delivering a series of reports which focus on the development of DNA-based methods with potential in a particular area.
Natural England (NE) aims to make monitoring programmes more efficient and to investigate this they wish to develop DNA and eDNA techniques for the identification of Segmentina nitida and see how this compares with hand identification. This project delivers important baseline data on the applications of DNA technologies, specifically the development of species-specific eDNA assays and mass DNA sequencing (metabarcoding) of ditch systems to survey and monitor biodiversity.