Simulating the Advection and Degradation of the Environmental DNA of Common Carp along a River

Environ Sci Technol. 2018 Sep 18;52(18):10562-10570. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b02293. Epub 2018 Aug 24.


The environmental DNA (eDNA) method is a novel technique for precise and efficient biological surveillance. Although eDNA has been widely used to monitor various freshwater organisms, eDNA dynamics in streams remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the eDNA dynamics of common carp ( Cyprinus carpio) in a forested headwater stream affected by the effluent from a carp farm. We evaluated the longitudinal variation in carp eDNA along a river downstream from the farm and performed a temporal eDNA decay experiment using digital polymerase chain reaction. On the basis of the resulting decay constants, we built a model to simulate the advection and degradation of eDNA along the studied river. The observed eDNA flux (concentration multiplied by flow rate) decreased exponentially with distance downstream from the farm, and eDNA was detected 3 km downstream of the farm. Although the water temperatures were similar, the eDNA decay constant was lower in autumn than in summer. The simulated eDNA concentration was markedly larger (>10 times) than the observed concentration, suggesting that eDNA removal is accelerated in the stream environment compared to in conventional experimental settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carps*
  • DNA
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rivers
  • Temperature


  • DNA