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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Terrestrial biodiversity assessment of Jan Mayen Island through airborne environmental DNA (RIS ID 12148)

Tildelt: kr 32 999




2023 - 2024

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Within the scope of this international research network, we aim to conduct an expedition on Jan Mayen Island to collect airborne eDNA through air filtering. We will collect, extract DNA, and perform both PCRs using a portable thermocycler and sequencing using a Minion Oxford Nanopore sequencing device on site in Jan Mayen over a one week period. First, airborne eDNA will be collected across the Island on a two day period. Following DNA extraction, PCRs will be conducted with vertebrate (12S) and plant (trnL) before sequencing. Local extraction and sequencing will allow to control for potential contamination. At least 30 samples will be collected within the scope of this study. Following bioinformatic filtering and analysis, community composition of mammals, birds and plants will be analyzed to identify if airborne eDNA can be used to provide a reliable species presence assessment on Jan Mayen Island. The will potentially allow to identify newly invasive species occurrence. It is yet unknown if airborne eDNA metabarcoding will provide higher and more accurate resolution of species presence and allow an early detection of newly invading species, and this AFG proposal will allow to calibrate the application of airborne eDNA surveys for potential future use in Jan Mayen and Svalbard. Indeed, in addition to assess the method reliability, this project will provide insights into global airborne dispersal of eDNA, as the detection of anything exotic will be due to wind transport to the remote Jan Mayen Island. Participants from NHM-UiO already secured funding for the costs of eDNA sampling, extraction and sequencing. This present funding application seeks funding to cover travel and accommodation for five persons from Oslo to Jan Mayen, travel between Copenhagen and Oslo, and accommodation (2 nights) for 3 persons, and the attendance costs to present the project results at the SSC2023 conference.


SSF-Svalbard Science Forum