In the face of global change, better knowledge of the planet’s past and present ecosystems is more important than ever in order to cope with biodiversity loss and set conservation priorities. A deeper understanding of the interactions between living things and their environment is also required in order to manage ecosystem services and prevent the spread of harmful pathogens worldwide. Driven by recent technological advances, DNA and RNA from environmental samples (eDNA / eRNA) are increasingly being used to meet this need for knowledge. The application of eDNA / eRNA methods helps us to assess the composition of communities and to answer various questions about biotic interactions within and between ecosystems. In addition, eDNA / eRNA approaches can provide insights into direct and indirect biotic interactions and various evolutionary phenomena.

Given the actual and potential environmental impact of eDNA and eRNA technology, BMC ecology and evolution launched a new collection to bring research with eDNA / eRNA approaches together to:

Despite the many and growing strengths of eDNA / eRNA technology, it is often reported that the tool has methodological and financial limitations. These problems include sample collection, sample deterioration, inferences about spatiotemporal dynamics and taxonomic allocation. Therefore, we also encourage submissions that address technological and economic challenges in the application of eDNA and eRNA technology in ecology and conservation biology.

Items considered for publication within the collection will be rated according to the standard BMC ecology and evolution editorial criteria and is subject to the journal’s standard peer-reviewed process, overseen by a member of the editorial board 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, to Item handling fee applies (with Standard waiver policy).

The collection is now open for submissions!

To send to the collection, please click Here. Please indicate in your cover letter that your manuscript is intended for the collection “Applications of Environmental DNA and RNA in Ecology”. Before submitting your manuscript, please carefully read the submission guidelines for BMC ecology and evolution. For pre-submission inquiries, please contact Jennifer Harman (, the editor of BMC ecology and evolution.

To view the articles already published in this collection, please visit our website:

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