Marine cobble habitats in shallow waters are rich in faunal assemblages and known settling grounds for valuable fishery resources such as lobsters and crabs. Sampling these grounds is challenging as traditional techniques do not efficiently collect fast-moving benthic invertebrates. Typically, fast moving crustaceans are not sampled according to actual densities. This study used airlift suction sampling, pioneered in North America, to quantify benthic faunal assemblages in cobble grounds across 68 sampling locations in south-western Norway. In total, 72 species of benthic invertebrates (5276 individual specimens) were identified, with an overall sampling efficiency of 76.4%. Polychaeta and decapod crustaceans dominated the samples, with species diversity (Shannon Index, ) highest in Location 3. Cluster and Ordination analyses were further used to relate assemblages to a number of selected variables. Overall, the study highlights that suction sampling provides a low-cost and efficient method for quantifying mobile benthic fauna in structurally complex marine habitats (i.e., cobble).
Influence of a thermocline on vertical distribution and settlement of postlarvae of the American lobster (Homarus americanus Milne-Edwards).
J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol.162:
LinnaneA.BallB.MercerJ. P.BrowneR.van der MeerenG.RingvoldH.BannisterC.MazzoniD.MundayB.2001.
Searching for the early benthic phase (EBP) of the European lobster: a trans-European study of cobble fauna.
LinnaneA.BallB.MundayB.BrowneR.MercerJ. P.2003. Faunal description of an Irish Cobble Site using Airlift suction sampling. Biol. & Environ. Proc. of the Royal Irish Acad. 1/2003 103: 41-48.
MercerJ. P.BannisterR. C. A.van der MeerenG. I.DebuseV.MazzoniD.LovewellS.BrowneR.LinnaneA.BallB.2001.
An overview of the LEAR (Lobster Ecology and Recruitment) project: the results of field and experimental studies on the juvenile ecology of Homarus gammarus in cobble.
Mar. Fresh. Res.52: