The maturing relationship between quaternary paleoecology and ancient sedimentary DNA.
In the two decades or so since ancient sedimentary DNA (sedaDNA) took its place as a new Quaternary paleo-proxy, there have been large advances in the scope of its applications and its reliability. The two main approaches, metabarcoding and shotgun sequencing, have contributed exciting insights into areas such as floristic diversity change, plant-herbivore interactions, extinction, conservation baselines and impacts of invasive species. Early doubts as to its potential to contribute novel information have been dispelled; more is now understood about the passage of sedaDNA from the original organism to a component of soil or sediment and about the range of uncertainties that must be addressed in the interpretation of data. With its move into the mainstream, it is now time to develop effective data archives for sedaDNA, refine our understanding of central issues such as taphonomy, and further expand the potential for describing, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the history of past ecosystems.