Multi-species models reveal that eDNA metabarcoding is more sensitive than backpack electrofishing for conducting fish surveys in freshwater streams

Emily McColl-Gausden, Andrew Weeks, Rhys Coleman, Katie Robinson, Sue Song, Tarmo Raadik & Reid Tingley
Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling can provide accurate, cost-effective, landscape-level data on species distributions. Previous studies have compared the sensitivity of eDNA sampling to traditional sampling methods for single species, but similar comparative studies on multi-species eDNA metabarcoding are rare. Using hierarchical species occupancy-detection models, we examined whether key choices associated with eDNA metabarcoding (primer selection, low-abundance read filtering, and the number of positive water samples used to classify a species as present at a site)...
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