Comparison of granulometric methods and sampling strategies used in marine habitat classification and Ecological Status assessment

James Forde*, Patrick Colman Collins, Adrian Patterson, Robert Kennedy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sediment particle size analysis (PSA) is routinely used to support benthic macrofaunal community distribution data in habitat mapping and Ecological Status (ES) assessment. No optimal PSA Method to explain variability in multivariate macrofaunal distribution has been identified nor have the effects of changing sampling strategy been examined. Here, we use benthic macrofaunal and PSA grabs from two embayments in the south of Ireland. Four frequently used PSA Methods and two common sampling strategies are applied. A combination of laser particle sizing and wet/dry sieving without peroxide pre-treatment to remove organics was identified as the optimal Method for explaining macrofaunal distributions. ES classifications and EUNIS sediment classification were robust to changes in PSA Method. Fauna and PSA samples returned from the same grab sample significantly decreased macrofaunal variance explained by PSA and caused ES to be classified as lower. Employing the optimal PSA Method and sampling strategy will improve benthic monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1028
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume64
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

Keywords

  • Benthic sampling strategies
  • Ecological Quality Ratios
  • Ecological Status assessment
  • Habitat mapping
  • Sediment particle analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography
  • Pollution

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