Advances in the sequencing of DNA extracted from media such as soil and water offer huge opportunities for biodiversity monitoring and assessment, particularly where the collection or identification of whole organisms is impractical. However, there are myriad methods for the extraction, storage, amplification and sequencing of DNA from environmental samples.
High throughput DNA sequencing technology has enabled entire biological communities to be characterised from DNA derived from pools of organisms, such as bulk-collected invertebrates, or DNA extracted from environmental samples (e.g. soil). These DNA-based techniques have the potential to revolutionise biodiversity monitoring.