Natural England aims to make monitoring programmes more efficient and to investigate this they wish to compare the efficacy of DNA sequencing and how it compares to hand identification of invertebrates. This project will deliver important baseline data on the applications of DNA technologies, specifically mass DNA sequencing (metabarcoding) of terrestrial invertebrates to survey and monitor biodiversity.
• Investigates the accuracy of DNA species identification for invertebrates.
• Investigates the reliability of the BOLD database for undertaking invertebrate identification.
• Investigates whether abundance can be inferred as a part of DNA sequencing.
• Presents the methods and results of metabarcoding as compared to traditional techniques (including a comparison of turnaround time and cost).
• Makes recommendations for future work in line with the pros and cons of the two methods.
This report is focused on the DNA element of the work, with a separate report by the Natural England Field Unit discussing the invertebrates found through the field work.
This report was first published 31st January 2022. The section on costs has been revised in this version for clarity.