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Composition and vertical distribution of the motile epifauna on a vertical rock wall in Gullmarsfjorden, western Sweden, using an alternative sampling approach
Thomasson, M.A.; Tunberg, B.G. (2005). Composition and vertical distribution of the motile epifauna on a vertical rock wall in Gullmarsfjorden, western Sweden, using an alternative sampling approach. Mar. Biol. Res. 1(2): 107-117
In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo; Basingstoke. ISSN 1745-1000, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Epibionts; Sublittoral zone; Vertical distribution; Zonal distribution; ANE, Sweden, Gullmarsfjord [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Thomasson, M.A.
  • Tunberg, B.G.

Abstract
    The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of the alternative quantitative sampling approach and if it was possible, by using this method, to elucidate temporal variations concerning the composition, vertical distribution, and abundance of the motile epifaunal community. The study was performed on a vertical rocky bottom in Gullmarsfjorden on the Swedish west coast. Quantitative sampling was performed at four depths (2, 6, 10 and 15 m) on three occasions (19 June, 23-24 July and 23 September 1996) by means of a water jet powered suction sampler (venturi principle). In total, 53 macrofaunal taxa were found, of which 29 taxa occurred on all sampling dates. Significant vertical zonation patterns were recorded in July and September, but not in June, with amphipods, polychaetes, and echinoderms (mainly Asterias rubens) as the most important contributors to these patterns. A temporal variation in the faunal assemblage also occurred. Species abundance was significantly different between the sampling dates at 2, 6 and 10 m, but not at 15 m. The abundance was higher in July and September than in June. Species with the highest observed differences in abundance were juvenile Asterias rubens, abundant in July, while juvenile shrimp, especially Thoralus cranchii, and some amphipods, especially Microdeutopus spp., increased in abundance in September. This sampling approach was highly effective, and the high abundance and diversity of the motile epifauna indicate that these species play an important role in hard-bottom communities.

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