Scientia Marina, Vol 66, No 1 (2002)

A quantitative technique for sampling motile macroinvertebrates in beds of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2002.66n153

Joseph A. Borg
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth - Department of Biology, University of Malta, United Kingdom

Martin J. Attrill
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, United Kingdom

Ashley A. Rowden
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, United Kingdom

Patrick J. Schembri
Department of Biology, University of Malta, Malta

Malcolm B. Jones
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, United Kingdom

Abstract


Techniques for sampling motile macroinvertebrates associated with Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows have mainly involved the use of hand-nets and suction samplers or collection by hand. These techniques give unreliable quantitative estimates or have practical difficulties. A large cylindrical saw-rimmed corer was designed and used successfully to obtain quantitative samples of macroinvertebrates from both foliage and root-rhizome matrix of a Posidonia oceanica meadow in Malta (central Mediterranean). Choice of the appropriate sample unit size was assessed by comparing the relative accuracy, precision and efficiency of three different core diameters: 25 cm, 35 cm and 45 cm. The results suggest that for comparison of macrofaunal species richness and abundance between different meadows/sites the 25 cm diameter corer is recommended. For surveys aimed at estimating total diversity within a particular site, the 35 cm diameter corer is more appropriate.

Keywords


sampling; seagrass; macroinvertebrates; Posidonia oceanica; corer; Mediterranean Sea; Malta

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