GenePools: Investigating the life that dwells in garden ponds.

Published online
22 Jun 2023
Published by
Natural England
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Rees, H. C. & Baker, C. & Kane, S. & Owen, J.
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This study describes the use of GenePools to determine the combination of citizen science with eDNA metabarcoding techniques to measure biodiversity within urban ponds in the UK. Citizen scientists from London, Bristol and Newcastle were engaged to take water samples from garden and community ponds. These water samples were then analysed using four different DNA metabarcoding assays for vertebrates, invertebrates, prokaryotes and microeukaryotes. Metabarcoding and polymerase chain reaction identified a total of 317 species across the pond samples analysed, with approximately 75% of these being invertebrate species. For vertebrates and invertebrates, the number of unassigned sequences corresponded to 12% and 77% of the total number of reads, respectively, although this ranged from 0.01% to 87.16% for 12S individual pond sequence data and 0.60% to 99.67% for COI individual pond sequence data. These results indicate that sampling by citizen scientists can be combined with metabarcoding technologies to measure biodiversity within urban ponds.

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