Ann. Limnol. - Int. J. Lim.
|Page(s)||301 - 306|
|Published online||15 August 2016|
A common error in calculating density of invertebrates in sediment core sections of unequal lengths
Department of Fisheries Oceanography and Marine Ecology, National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kołłątaja 1, 81-332 Gdynia, Poland
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: 23 February 2016
Accepted: 15 June 2016
In benthic studies, an absolute measure of invertebrate density with depth in the sediment is desirable. It can be expressed as invertebrates per unit of sediment volume or invertebrates per unit of sediment surface area. Calculations are often distorted, however, by whether the core is divided into unequal or equal segments. This is demonstrated in a study conducted in the Vistula Lagoon (South Baltic Sea). We collected 30 cores, and performed an analysis of distribution of invertebrates along the sediment profiles divided into sections of different lengths, or of equal lengths. In both cases, animal density/biomass was calculated both per unit area (m2) and per unit volume (L). When cores are divided into equal sections, various ways of data computing do not affect the final results. If, for any reason, the cores are divided into sections varying in length, the only way to obtain an accurate measure of invertebrate distribution in the sediment profile is to express the data per unit volume. In many studies, calculations have been made per unit area using unequal segments, and these calculations are erroneous. The same error is made if density is expressed as the percentage contribution of the numbers/biomass or number of specimens recorded in particular unequal sections.
Key words: Benthic invertebrates / sediments / vertical distribution / methods / bioturbation
© EDP Sciences, 2016
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