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Free Content Airlift Sampler: Applications for Hard Substrata

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Airlift samplers (ALS) have been developed as a means to efficiently and quantitatively sample subtidal benthic and epibenthic organisms. Washington State Department of Fisheries (WDF) biologists have used ALS's to collect quantitative samples of epibenthic organisms from natural and artificial reefs and benthic organisms from gravel substratum in Puget Sound, Washington. The primary advantage of ALS's, for these types of substrates, is their ability to collect the motile microinvertebrates (<1 cm) missed by visual assessment and settling plate/substrate removal methods. ALS's used by WDF are capable of collecting organisms up to 5 cm in diameter. Operated by mobile divers, ALS's can sample with greater spatial precision and reach areas inaccessible to methods operated from surface vessels. ALS applications can be diversified through design modifications and modular construction which enables changing ALS configuration to meet different sampling needs. Sampling capacity of an ALS is directly related to operating depth, sample mass and amount of compressed air available. Increasing depth or mass increases air consumption and generally reduces sampling capacity.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1989-03-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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