Comparison of Meroplankton Monitoring from a Fixed Platform with Monitoring from Towed Collections.
OLD DOMINION UNIV NORFOLK VA APPLIED MARINE RESEARCH LAB
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Long-term monitoring studies of non-commercial marine organisms are rare, especially studies of zooplankton populations. This study was undertaken to test the feasibility of monitoring meroplankton from a fixed platform, a less expensive and less weather dependent mode of sampling than the traditional method of towed collections. The fixed platform selected for the study was the fishing pier adjacent to Thimble Shoal Channel on the southernmost tunnel island of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. This site was chosen because it was near several stations being sampled from a boat by towed nets in a companion study, and being located in the Bay mouth, it seemed an appropriate monitoring site. Here we report on a statistical comparison of the pier collections with the towed collections and evaluate the fixed platform sampling technique. Conclusion is that fixed platform sampling is as good an estimator of density of dominant meroplanktons as that provided by towed samples. Advantage of fixed sampling is that it is less expensive, less weather dependent and will provide continuity of data over time valuable in long-term monitoring.
- Biological Oceanography