Theses and Dissertations - UTRGV

Date of Award

8-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Agricultural, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Richard J. Kline

Second Advisor

Dr. Erin E. Easton

Third Advisor

Dr. MD Saydur Rahman

Abstract

Developing more efficient tools to assess amphibian biodiversity and understanding what environmental variables drive amphibian biodiversity are top priorities, as amphibians are facing extinction events across the globe. Environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys are a promising new tool to asses amphibian biodiversity. Throughout the study eDNA metabarcoding along with a targeted eDNA assay and traditional survey methods were used to provide foundational information on amphibian community assemblages throughout South Texas. Water quality, habitat characteristics and soil composition data were collected and used to examine environmental relationships. eDNA metabarcoding detected significantly more amphibian taxonomic units compared to traditional survey methods. eDNA metabarcoding was less sensitive at detecting DNA from a rare-cryptic amphibian compared to a targeted eDNA assay. There were no significant groupings of amphibian communities, some environmental variables were found to be correlated to amphibian community structure.

Comments

Copyright 2022 Sean Michael Collins. All Rights Reserved.

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