Using Environmental DNA (eDNA) to Assess the Occurrence of Prey in Deep-Diving Cetaceans off Cape Hatteras, NC

Loading...
Thumbnail Image

Date

2022-04-22

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats

154
views
272
downloads

Abstract

The elusive nature of deep-diving cetaceans, including short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), creates a gap in knowledge for understanding their foraging behavior. Multiple techniques exist for analyzing this behavior including stomach content analyses and tagging, however, these methods are not reliable for providing a comprehensive prey list for these animals due to biases and limitations. Understanding the diets of these cetaceans relies on collecting information that is representative of healthy individuals that is obtained from long-term sampling to reflect seasonal changes and prey availability. This project investigates the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) in water samples collected from a known pilot whale habitat off Cape Hatteras, NC to determine if this technique is a feasible alternative for collecting foraging data. By extracting the eDNA and conducting polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on these samples, this study investigates the species composition in the samples and makes suggestions on how to adapt this technique to better obtain information on foraging behavior in pilot whales.

Description

Provenance

Citation

Citation

Gilbert, Madysen (2022). Using Environmental DNA (eDNA) to Assess the Occurrence of Prey in Deep-Diving Cetaceans off Cape Hatteras, NC. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/24903.


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.