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Evaluating the Relative Effectiveness of Sampling Methods for Reef Meiofauna Community Structure Studies

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Despite their potentially important role in ecosystem functioning, meiofauna are possibly the least studied animals associated with hard bottoms such as coral and sandstone reefs. A significant limitation in meiofauna research has been the lack of standardized sampling methods for species inhabiting hard surfaces. To address this problem we tested four different sampling methods proposed for the reef meiofauna community: a suction pump at three different suction treatments (20 s, 1 min, and 5 min) and substrate scraping. Significant differences were observed in the abundance of meiofauna groups, and the composition and diversity of Nematoda genera. The highest values were always generated by substrate scraping. We conclude that scraping is a more accurate method of sampling (among the methods tested) and we recommend the adoption of this method for future hard bottom meiofauna studies.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2012

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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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