Airborne environmental DNA captures terrestrial vertebrate diversity in nature

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

The current biodiversity and climate crises highlight the need for efficient tools to monitor terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we provide evidence for the use of airborne eDNA analyses as a novel method for detecting terrestrial vertebrate communities in nature. Metabarcoding of 143 airborne eDNA samples collected during 3 days in a mixed forest in Denmark yielded 64 bird, mammal, fish and amphibian taxa, of which the detected 57 ‘wild’ taxa represent over a quarter of the around 210 terrestrial vertebrates that occur in the overall area. We provide evidence for the spatial movement and temporal patterns of airborne eDNA and for the influence of weather conditions on vertebrate detections. This study demonstrates airborne eDNA for high-resolution biomonitoring of vertebrates in terrestrial systems and elucidates its potential to guide global nature management and conservation efforts in the ongoing biodiversity crisis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Ecology Resources
Number of pages20
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Molecular Ecology Resources© 2023 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Resources published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

    Research areas

  • air samplers, bioaerosols, biodiversity, biomonitoring, environmental DNA, metabarcoding

ID: 361826426