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Applications of Environmental DNA and RNA in Ecology

Call for Papers!

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In the face of global change, greater knowledge of the planet's past and present ecosystems is more important than ever to manage biodiversity loss and set conservation priorities. A deeper understanding is also necessary to manage ecosystem services and prevent the spread of harmful pathogens worldwide. Fueled by recent technological advances, DNA and RNA from environmental samples (eDNA/eRNA) are increasingly being used to help meet this need for knowledge. The application of eDNA/eRNA methods helps us evaluate community composition and answer various questions regarding biotic interactions within and between ecosystems. Furthermore, eDNA/eRNA approaches can provide insights into direct and indirect biotic interactions as well as various evolutionary phenomena.

Given the actual and potential impacts of eDNA and eRNA technology on the field of ecology, BMC Ecology and Evolution has launched this collection to bring together research using eDNA/eRNA approaches to:

We also encourage submissions that address technological and economic challenges in the application of eDNA and eRNA technology in ecology and conservation biology, as well as articles that indicate future directions.

Articles under consideration for publication within the collection will be assessed according to the standard BMC Ecology and Evolution editorial criteria and will undergo the journal's standard peer-review process overseen by Editorial Board Member Associate Professor Luke Jacobus (Indiana University, USA), Associate Professor Cyprian Katongo (University of Zambia) and Associate Professor Luisa Orsini (University of Birmingham, UK). If accepted for publication, an article processing charge applies (with standard waiver policy).

The collection is now open for submissions!

To submit to the collection, please click here. Please state in your cover letter that your manuscript is for the "Applications of Environmental DNA and RNA in Ecology" collection. Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the submission guidelines for BMC Ecology and Evolution. For pre-submission inquiries, please contact Jennifer Harman (jennifer.harman@springernature.com), the Editor of BMC Ecology and Evolution.


  1. Approximately 50% of freshwater turtles worldwide are currently threatened by habitat loss, rural development and altered stream flows. Paradoxically, reptiles are understudied organisms, with many species lac...

    Authors: Cecilia Villacorta-Rath, Thomas Espinoza, Bernie Cockayne, Jason Schaffer and Damien Burrows
    Citation: BMC Ecology and Evolution 2022 22:57
  2. Intense conversion of tropical forests into agricultural systems contributes to habitat loss and the decline of ecosystem functions. Plant-pollinator interactions buffer the process of forest fragmentation, en...

    Authors: Carina Carneiro de Melo Moura, Christina A. Setyaningsih, Kevin Li, Miryam Sarah Merk, Sonja Schulze, Rika Raffiudin, Ingo Grass, Hermann Behling, Teja Tscharntke, Catrin Westphal and Oliver Gailing
    Citation: BMC Ecology and Evolution 2022 22:51
  3. Relative to temperate regions, little is known about bobcats (Lynx rufus) in the Sonoran Desert portion of their range, in part due to the difficulty of sampling an elusive carnivore in harsh desert environments....

    Authors: John Draper, Torrey Rodgers and Julie K. Young
    Citation: BMC Ecology and Evolution 2022 22:25
  4. Habitat disturbance affects the biology and health of animals globally. Understanding the factors that contribute to the differential responses of animals to habitat disturbance is critical for conservation. T...

    Authors: Nicolette McManus, Sheila M. Holmes, Edward E. Louis Jr., Steig E. Johnson, Andrea L. Baden and Katherine R. Amato
    Citation: BMC Ecology and Evolution 2021 21:222
  5. Airborne environmental DNA (eDNA) research is an emerging field that focuses on the detection of species from their genetic remnants in the air. The majority of studies into airborne eDNA of plants has until n...

    Authors: Mark D. Johnson, Mohamed Fokar, Robert D. Cox and Matthew A. Barnes
    Citation: BMC Ecology and Evolution 2021 21:218
  6. To determine the presence and abundance of an aquatic species in large waterbodies, especially when populations are at low densities, is highly challenging for conservation biologists. Environmental DNA (eDNA)...

    Authors: Dan Yu, Zhongyuan Shen, Tao Chang, Sha Li and Huanzhang Liu
    Citation: BMC Ecology and Evolution 2021 21:216
  7. Sharks and rays are some of the most threatened marine taxa due to the high levels of bycatch and significant demand for meat and fin-related products in many Asian communities. At least 25% of shark and ray s...

    Authors: Yin Cheong Aden Ip, Jia Jin Marc Chang, Kelvin K. P. Lim, Zeehan Jaafar, Benjamin J. Wainwright and Danwei Huang
    Citation: BMC Ecology and Evolution 2021 21:166
  8. Dinoflagellates are a ubiquitous and ecologically important component of marine phytoplankton communities, with particularly notable species including those associated with harmful algal blooms (HABs) and thos...

    Authors: Tahnee Manning, Arjun Venkatesh Thilagaraj, Dmitri Mouradov, Richard Piola, Clare Grandison, Matthew Gordon, Jeff Shimeta and Aidyn Mouradov
    Citation: BMC Ecology and Evolution 2021 21:27