Environmental DNA as a new tool for assessing the biodiversity of Lake Baikal

  • Kirilchik S.V. 1 ID
  • 1 Limnological Institute, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ulan-Batorskaya Str., 3, Irkutsk, 664033, Russia
Keywords: eDNA, biodiversity, Baikal


Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis is a powerful tool for detecting aquatic animals. Numerous studies have shown the high efciency of the eDNA methods for the detection of species that are difcult to identify using traditional approaches. Other studies have demonstrated the high usefulness of eDNA for studies of species communities and species abundance. Here, we briefly describe the advantages of this method in relation to studying the biodiversity of the ecosystem of Lake Baikal. Traditional methods of biodiversity monitoring have a number of limitations here due to a great depth of the lake and a large number of rare endemic species, which occupy limited habitats, often in the deep-water zone. Using eDNA will overcome this limitation. It can fundamentally change the understanding and assessment of the biodiversity of Lake Baikal and solve other scientifc and environmental problems in the region.