The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

End biodiversity loss through improved tracking of threatened invertebrates



Quick facts

Project title: 
End biodiversity loss through improved tracking of threatened invertebrates
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 
Metabarcoding, eDNA, red-listed species


In today’s biodiversity crisis, there is an urgent need to monitor terrestrial and aquatic species in their natural habitats, especially those that may be endangered, invasive or elusive. Traditional species observation methods, based on acoustic or observational surveys are inefficient, costly and time consuming. On the other hand, DNA is continuously deposited in the environment from natural processes and this environmental DNA (eDNA) allows us to detect species and reconstruct their communities with a high level of sensitivity. These data can be used to obtain occurrence records and to collect more population information in field. Crucially, these data are necessary to inform management agencies about the current state of our biodiversity, and are especially urgent for species that are currently data deficient. The aims of this study are to firstly identify occurrence records from diverse sources (databases, literature) and generate a database of distributional data for species of crustacean and mollusks that are data deficient in Sweden. Secondly, we aim to detect threatened species in Swedish marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats using novel genomic methods (DNA metabarcoding, ddPCR). Finally, based on the new data, we will run species distribution and population models, to improve information on geographic range and population status for threatened invertebrates. The results will be integrated into current monitoring programmes (e.g. red-listing) and action plans.


Contact person

Head of metabarcoding section
Deputy ombudsperson for good scientific practice
+49 228 9122-353
+49 228 9122-212
s.bourlat [at]