Author(s): Laura Maria Stancanelli; Jelle Dercksen; Astrid Blom
Keywords: River dynamics; Ecosystems; Monitoring; Molecular biology; Environmental DN
Abstract: The establishment of a monitoring technique capable to assess the aquatic ecosystem status is needed for reversing the river biodiversity degradation trend. Recently, an innovative technique for the detection based on the adoption of the environmental DNA traces (mucous, shed skin, etc.) has been proposed. Although, the establishment of this technique is prevented by the lack of knowledge on the eDNA traces dynamics in rivers. The research aims to develop an experimental methodology for investigating the physical mechanisms that govern the transport of the eDNA traces in water. The main challenge is the design of an experimental set-up that fulfils the requisites for carrying out molecular biology (i.e. sterile environments, sampling) and hydraulic engineering (i.e. hydraulic measures: flow velocity field) analyses. The experimental methodology developed is key for revealing when the water flow promotes the eDNA traces horizontal (advection and diffusion) or vertical transport (suspension and deposition).