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All of these stages may release e DNA into the water.As a European Protected Species, great crested newt e DNA surveys are currently being used to assess the presence-absence of species, but how e DNA fluctuates over this aquatic phase is unknown.e DNA concentration may therefore reflect relative abundance in different ponds, although environmental factors can affect the concentrations observed.Nevertheless, e DNA surveys may still represent an improvement over unadjusted counts which are widely used in population assessments but have unreliable relationships with population size., the seasonal dynamics of e DNA in relation to population size are poorly understood.

Breeding occurs in water with females laying eggs that hatch into aquatic larvae that metamorphose and emerge in the late summer or, occasionally, overwinter.

Before predicting abundance, the factors that influence e DNA concentration in relation to changes in population size and environmental factors need to be understood.

The concentration of e DNA at any point in time will depend on (1) the rate of production of e DNA by the species; and (2) how long e DNA persists in the environment, to our knowledge no studies have identified how seasonal population dynamics impact e DNA concentration in relation to other factors that influence DNA release and degradation.

Consequently, e DNA is currently largely limited to surveys of presence and absence.

Measures of abundance are more useful than presence-absence, but are often based on count data that are not adjusted for detection probability which can be misleading.

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