Measurement of biodiversity using environmental DNA method

One of the activities in the WIN@sea project is to investigate the biodiversity in the wind turbine park at Kriegers Flak. In this case it is done using a special technique called environmental DNA (eDNA).

In June, AURORA, Aarhus University’s research ship, sailed through Kriegers Flak wind turbine park on its way home from ”Folkemødet” on Bornholm. The mission was to collect water samples for eDNA analysis. These analyses are meant to complement the studies conducted in the park the week before, which involved video recordings and biomass sampling from both wind turbine foundations and stone reefs in the area.

eDNA is a method used to investigate the species present in a specific marine area. This method is also used in the national environmental monitoring and can be used to detect species, such as threatened or invasive species, as well as provide insights into the biodiversity of an area.

Water samples for eDNA analysis are collected using a specialized water sampler that is lowered from the ship to collect water from specific depths. The collected water is then filtered through very fine filters and subsequently analyzed in the laboratory. It is crucial to wear gloves during this process to prevent contamination of the samples with DNA from the surroundings or the individuals handling the samples.

In the picture, Karolina is seen collecting water samples from a water sampler onboard AURORA.