To enable successful management of marine bioinvasions, timely and robust scientific advice is required. This knowledge should inform managers and stakeholders on the magnitude of a pressure (rate of human-mediated introductions), the environmental state of an ecosystem (impacts of non-indigenous species), and the success of management response (prevention, eradication, mitigation). This advice often relies on baseline biodiversity information in the form of measureable parameters (metrics). This can be derived from conventional approaches such as visual surveys, but also by utilizing environmental DNA/RNA-based molecular techniques, which are increasingly being touted as promising tools for assessing biodiversity and detecting rare or invasive species. Depending on the stage of incursion, each approach has merits and limitations. In this review we assess the performance of biosecurity-relevant biodiversity parameters derived from eDNA/eRNA samples and discuss the results in relation to different stages of invasion and management applications. The overall performance of considered methods ranged between 42 and 90% based on defined criteria, with target-specific approaches scoring higher for respective biosecurity applications, followed by eDNA metabarcoding. Caveats are discussed along with avenues which may enhance these techniques and their successful uptake for marine biosecurity surveillance and management. To facilitate and encourage uptake of these techniques, there is a need for an international collaborative framework aimed at unifying molecular sampling and analysis methodologies. Improvement of quantitative capacity and cost-efficiency will also enhance their integration in biosecurity programmes.
Zaiko, A., Pochon, X., Garcia-Vazquez, E., Olenin, S., & Wood, S. A. (2018, September 19). Advantages and limitations of environmental DNA/RNA tools for marine biosecurity: Management and surveillance of non-indigenous species. Frontiers in Marine Science. Frontiers Media S.A. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00322