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Testing eDNA metabarcoding as a technique for tracking sedimentary condition - marine Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment Programme



15,000 GBP


This project is part of the Marine Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment (mNCEA) Programme which is a three-year Defra-funded programme that looks to deliver evidence on the extent and condition of marine natural capital assets, along with tools and guidance to support decision-making using the Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment (NCEA) approach. This particular project is testing DNA metabarcoding as a technique for tracking sedimentary ecosystem asset condition. DNA metabarcoding will be used alongside traditional morphological infauna ID to understand how eDNA of benthic fauna responds to anthropogenic pressure (such as pollution, contaminants, disturbance, etc.). The outputs will be used to assess if these metabarcoding techniques can be used in future monitoring scenarios that will enable more effective and efficient monitoring of impacts on the seabed at greater spatial scales, and with greater ease, than is currently possible. Natural England is collecting traditional benthic infauna grab samples and eDNA sediment samples along pressure gradients in up to two sites, including the Humber and the Tees Estuary. The surveys will be conducted in July- August 2024. The aim of this contract is to produce DNA metabarcoding data for benthic eDNA sediment samples, and examine this data in the context of pressure gradients and associated infauna data. Metabarcoding and traditional taxonomic output will be evaluated for their respective potential to be used as a method for determining the condition of marine sediments and therefore as a driver of their ecosystem service delivery potential. The primary interest is to see if there is a change in community composition in response to known pressure gradients. This will be based on understanding of the meiofaunal and microbial diversity, macrobenthic diversity, and wider community diversity (eg. fish). The timeline for this work will be from June 2024 - February 2025. Additional information: To apply for this opportunity you must submit your quotation meeting the requirements detailed in the Request for Quotation (RFQ) attached. Your response must be sent to by 17:00 on Tuesday 11 th June 2024. If you have any clarification questions linked to this opportunity or the procurement process please submit these via email to The deadline for clarifications is Tuesday 04 June 2024. Please note that, unless commercially sensitive, both the question and the response will be circulated to all tenderers.


Publish date

24 days ago

Close date

4 days ago

Buyer information

Natural England

Sajan Sebastian

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