Graduation Date

Spring 2023

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Natural Resources, option Fisheries

Committee Chair Name

Eric P. Bjorkstedt

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Andrew P. Kinziger

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Andre Buchheister

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



Substantial uncertainty in how to interpret eDNA observations motivates a need for a technique to effectively and efficiently measure of system- and time-specific eDNA distributions. Using a technique to robustly calibrate eDNA dynamics in a given system would improve established eDNA methods such as presence and absence and has the potential to refine estimates of organism abundance using eDNA concentration that are less well understood. Particles of eDNA are present in a wide variety of size and type resulting in varying transport dynamics, persistence, decay, among others. This variation likely makes eDNA transport more complex than that of conservative tracers commonly used in stream transport studies. This study developed a technique to introduce a non-native (“foreign”) eDNA (FeDNA) using a novel Autonomous DNA Introduction Device (ADID) to gain insight into system-specific distribution patterns. Standard protocols for this technique were developed and a series of trials using concurrent introduction of multiple sources of FeDNA were conducted. The results from this study indicate distributions of FeDNA vary across different streams, but concurrent FeDNA distribution patterns within streams do not vary. This key finding indicates that FeDNA, with some limitations, can be an effective tool to identify system-specific distribution patterns and identify regions that are well-mixed in a stream surveyed using eDNA. This information can act as a foundation for putting other eDNA signals into context, and further steps for the application of the tools developed herein include using FeDNA to calibrate naturally present eDNA signals. FeDNA introduced with the ADID to gain insights into stream distribution patterns represents a novel advance in the application of eDNA to fisheries management and conservation.

Citation Style

American Fisheries Society



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