Background/Question/Methods Environmental DNA (eDNA) is an emerging conservation and management tool with considerable potential for aquatic habitats. Current eDNA approaches largely focus on mitochondrial genes, with an emphasis on determining the presence or absence of a species in a particular habitat. Nuclear genes, and microsatellites in particular, have the potential to provide increased population-level information from eDNA. Despite this potential, the reliability, consistency and analysis of microsatellite genetic information from water samples remains poorly understood. Our research combines modelling, controlled laboratory experiments and field surveys with Atlantic salmon to address these questions and contribute to the development of this tool.
Results/Conclusions Both field and laboratory studies support the potential to obtain robust microsatellite information from eDNA samples. Modelling supports the capacity of these data to contribute to inferences about population size and to be a useful population monitoring tool.