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Tuesday, January 26 • 10:40am - 11:00am
Environmental DNA (Edna) and Invasive Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys Molitrix: Detection of Spawning In The Missouri River

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AUTHORS: Cari-Ann Hayer, U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center; Katy Klymus, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Missouri ; Nathan Thompson, U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center; Craig Paukert, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Missouri; Duane Chapman, U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center; Catherine A. Richter*, U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center

ABSTRACT: The Missouri and Mississippi River systems have been invaded by two species of Asian bigheaded carps, the silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and the bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and thus, efforts are currently focused on protecting the Great Lakes watershed from these invasive species. Environmental DNA (eDNA) technology can aid management decisions by providing early detection of presence, information on population locations and habitat use, and estimation of biomass and timing and location of spawning events. We monitored silver carp eDNA concentrations at a single location on the Missouri River throughout the spring spawning season (April – June) in 2014. We compared the time course of eDNA concentration with the river hydrograph and with numbers and stages of eggs and larvae collected in parallel with eDNA samples. We hypothesized that when spawning was triggered by a spring increase in water flow, eDNA concentrations would increase due to the release of milt. During the pre-spawning period in April and May, eDNA concentrations were on the order of 1,000 copies/L. In early June we observed a 4-fold rise in the hydrograph, and a concurrent series of spikes in eDNA concentration, up to 10-fold greater than the pre-spawning level. This study confirms that eDNA monitoring can detect spawning events and illustrates the need for repeated sampling over time to detect spawning. In situations where the target species is very uncommon, for example in a newly invaded area, the large increase in eDNA concentration during spawning represents an opportunity to detect populations that would otherwise be below detection limits.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 10:40am - 11:00am EST
Pantlind