We have experimented eDNA as a new technique for species and ecosystems monitoring. As part of the French Coral Reef Initiative (IFRECOR), fish communities have been monitored since 2001 in Martinique (oldest station: Pointe Borgnesse at Le Marin).
About 128 species have been observed, counted and size-estimated on coral reefs stations, and 58 species on seagrass beds so far. However, with a limited time underwater, and a relatively small sampled area, there are many fish species that we do not see, or miss, like cryptic, rare or migrating species. With new techniques like environmental DNA, we can “see” those species, have a better snapshot of the fish community, and understand better the link with coastal changes.
Check out our video of the first mission in Martinique where the team sampled environmental DNA on coral reefs and seagrass beds, and stay tuned for the upcoming results !