Diver-operated suction sampling in Norwegian cobble grounds: technique and associated fauna

in Crustaceana
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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, H) 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).

Diver-operated suction sampling in Norwegian cobble grounds: technique and associated fauna

in Crustaceana

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References

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Figures

  • View in gallery

    A, Schematic drawings of the i, diver-operated airlift suction sampler rigged with sampling bag; ii, valve to air-connection from a scuba tank; iii, handle for support; iv, elastic band for attachment of empty sample bags; v, 1 mm mesh sampling bags (three rolled together, one full view); vi, band for attachment of the bag to the top of the suction tube and for closing the filled bag; vii, 0.5 m2 sample quadrant constructed with buoyant PVC pipe line; viii, 0.3 m high curtain of 1 mm mesh, weighted down by a heavy chain and lifted by the PVC pipe line fitted inside. B, Demonstration of the use of the equipment by two divers. Drawing by H. Ringvold.

  • View in gallery

    Map showing the six locations in the Korsfjord/Bjørnafjord area in southern Norway (black stars). The six locations are: Loc 1, Vinnes; Loc 2, Os; Loc 3, Turtelsvik; Loc 4, Langøy; Loc 5, Eidholmen; Loc 6, Skårøy.

  • View in gallery

    A two-way cluster analysis using PC-Ord (Version 6, Bray-Curtis Index and Group average Linkage) was performed factoring in both stations and species based on presence-absence data. All samples were above 14 m, on cobble grounds with variation in currents, temperatures, and wave exposure, off the western Norwegian coast (Bray-Curtis with Group Average Linkage). The species and groups are listed in full in table II. Loc 5 is not clustered with any other locations with lowest species variation. Locations 2, 4, and 6 show highest in-site similarity (approx. 85%), whereas locations 1 and 3 show approx. 60% similarity. The six locations are: Loc 1, Vinnes; Loc 2, Os; Loc 3, Turtelsvik; Loc 4, Langøy; Loc 5, Eidholmen; Loc 6, Skårøy.

  • View in gallery

    Ordination and diversity analysis. A, The relationship in species composition between the six locations as shown by Correspondence Analysis (CA); Loc 1, Vinnes (grey dot); Loc 2, Os (black dot); Loc 3, Turtelsvik (grey diamond); Loc 4, Langøy (black square); Loc 5, Eidholmen (star); Loc 6, Skårøy (grey triangle). B, The relationship between the different samples along the two first axes of a Constrained Correspondence Analysis (CCA) with the constraining variables, depth, salinity, temperature, and locality. The three continuous variables are shown as lines (higher values of the variable in question in the direction of the line away from origin), whereas the nominal variables (locality) are shown as larger symbols at their average placement along the two axes. C, The species optima along the same two axes as used in panel B.

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