An Examination of Methods for Sampling Macrobenthos in Seagrass Meadows
A comparative study of macrofaunal sampling methods was conducted in a shallow water seagrass meadow in Apalachee Bay (North Florida). Three different sized core samplers (5.5, 7.6 and 10.5 cm diameters) were tested for their relative efficiencies in collecting macrobenthos. Core samples were sieved with both 0.5- and 1.0-mm mesh screens to assess the retention characteristics of each. Particular attention was given to species composition and abundance. Significant differences in numbers of individuals were found between the sieve fractions with only 51–57% of the total macrofauna retained by the 1.0-mm screen. Both small species and small individuals including juveniles were undersampled with the larger mesh. Differences in numbers of individuals were also noted among the samplers with the small corer collecting significantly more organisms than either of the larger devices. Many of the species undersampled with the larger samplers were epifaunal forms closely associated with the macrophyte cover. The small corer's effectiveness was attributed to the spacing of seagrass turions and the increased chance of sampling a turion with the greater number of cores taken. Species accumulation curves for the three corers were similar with no differences noted for total species collected with each sampler. Caution is recommended in the choice of both sieve mesh and sampler size for collection of macrobenthos in vegetated habitats.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 January 1981
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