SCCWRP and its partners have begun sequencing the DNA of hundreds of stream algae samples in preparation for building a molecular version of the statewide Algal Stream Condition Index scoring tool.
The algal DNA sequencing work, which got underway last fall, will generate the data that researchers need to recalibrate the ASCI, a stream scoring tool co-developed by SCCWRP that uses the makeup of stream algal communities as a biological indicator for evaluating overall ecological health.
Researchers previously found that using DNA-based methods for identifying stream algae is a reliable, cost-effective alternative to traditional taxonomic identifications under a microscope, and also has the potential to provide richer insights into stream health.
A beta version of the molecular ASCI is expected to be released in winter 2022.
More news related to: Bioassessment, DNA Barcoding, Eutrophication, Indices of Biotic Integrity