Policy ForumEnvironmental Monitoring

Harnessing DNA to improve environmental management

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Science  27 Jun 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6191, pp. 1455-1456
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251156

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Responsive environmental policy demands a constant stream of information about the living world, but biological monitoring is difficult and expensive. For many species and ecosystems—especially in aquatic and marine environments—practical monitoring methods are lacking; even where methods do exist, they may be inefficient, highly destructive, or dependent on diminishing taxonomic expertise.