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Review of DNA-based marine benthic monitoring protocols (JNCC Report No. 705) 2022

Marine JNCC Publications 0963-8091 JNCC report series Marine protected area Monitoring Protected sites monitoring 705 Marine Monitoring


Natural England and JNCC commissioned NatureMetrics to produce a review and protocol for DNA-based marine benthic sampling. This was in the context of DNA metabarcoding and long-term monitoring of benthic species and habitats of conservation importance in UK Marine Protected Areas. For the same benthic DNA sampling method to be used across marine surveys with different spatial and temporal scales, the standardization of DNA sample collection and processing is essential.

DNA-based biomonitoring has the potential to generate more biodiversity data for less effort compared with conventional monitoring methods. DNA-based monitoring usually gives much larger, more comprehensive and consistent datasets than traditional, morphological assessments. This is especially important for monitoring over long temporal scales. It also offers a pathway to obtaining data from robust biological indicators that can measure changes in response to environmental and anthropogenic impacts and mitigation measures.

This review outlines the current state of the field in DNA-based marine benthic biomonitoring to enable scientists and managers to make informed decisions and to maximise the benefits of this new technology. It is based on an extensive literature review, and on NatureMetrics’ practical experience.

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Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2022·05·01

Wort, E., Flintham, H., Good, E., Bakker, J., Craig, H. & Egeter. B. 2022. Review of DNA-based marine benthic monitoring protocols. JNCC Report No. 705, JNCC, Peterborough, ISSN 0963-8091.

The scope of this work was to provide JNCC and Natural England with a review and protocol for benthic sampling in the context of eDNA metabarcoding and long-term monitoring in UK Marine Protected Areas.

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC publisher

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Available under the Open Government Licence 3.0

Metadata date 2022·05·20

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

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