Evaluation of techniques used in the assessment of subtidal epibiotic assemblage structure

Jennifer C Beaumont, Craig J Brown, Martin Sayer

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Abstract

A comparative study was carried out to evaluate the efficiency of a number of techniques commonly used for assessing the structure of subtidal epifaunal communities. Assessments were made of the epifaunal assemblages fouling two substrata: concrete and PVC plastic. Where possible, each technique was undertaken in three ways, namely, in situ underwater, in the laboratory and using image analysis on photographs taken in situ. Comparisons were also made of biomass estimates made on samples taken in situ and in the laboratory. All method and technique combinations assessed detected differences in the epibiotic communities associated with the two fouling substrata. Sampling in situ, in the laboratory and using image analysis gave similar estimates of percent cover. However, there were significant differences in measurements made for most taxa with respect to abundance and frequency counts depending on how the technique was carried out. Laboratory-based sampling of abundance and frequency counts and biomass determinations, rather than in situ or image-analysis based sampling, are recommended for use in future studies of epifaunal fouling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-356
Number of pages14
JournalBiofouling
Volume23
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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Keywords

  • SURFACES
  • COLONIZATION
  • RECRUITMENT
  • Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology
  • FOULING COMMUNITY-DEVELOPMENT
  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • NATURAL REEFS
  • EPIFAUNAL ASSEMBLAGES
  • LINNHE ARTIFICIAL REEF
  • COVER
  • SESSILE MARINE-INVERTEBRATES
  • LARVAL SETTLEMENT

Cite this

Beaumont, J. C., Brown, C. J., & Sayer, M. (2007). Evaluation of techniques used in the assessment of subtidal epibiotic assemblage structure. Biofouling, 23(5), 343-356.