Combining DNA and people power for healthy rivers: Implementing the STREAM community-based approach for global freshwater monitoring

10 mai 2021
Types d'actualités
Résultats de RDI

There is an urgent need for rapid, standardised, accurate and accessible monitoring techniques to better detect and quantify change given the increasing threat of degradation and biodiversity loss in freshwater ecosystems. Community-based monitoring projects have been proven successful for the collection of meaningful biological data from a range of target species and ecosystems. The STREAM (Sequencing the Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring) project combines community-based monitoring with a DNA metabarcoding approach to assess aquatic ecosystem health by determining biodiversity of benthic macroinvertebrate species across Canadian watersheds. STREAM consists of outreach and recruitment, training and dissemination of results obtained from sequence data, allowing rapid generation of watershed biodiversity reports (e.g. in 2 months). We emphasise the benefits of partnering with community groups in these DNA biomonitoring efforts, highlighting the value of environmental stewardship and eliminating bottlenecks for scientific data collection. We believe the approach taken in STREAM is not only applicable to Canada, but functions as an ideal model for freshwater monitoring on a global scale.