The Effects of Sieve Size on Benthic Community Composition Analysis
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The Effects of Sieve Size on Benthic Community Composition Analysis
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  • Source:
    Journal of Coastal Research, 31(6), 1531-1536.

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  • Description:
    Sediment samples were collected from the deep portion of Kachemak Bay, Alaska, for chemical analysis, toxicity testing, and infaunal community assessment as part of a larger Cook Inlet project. The benthos samples were sieved through nested 1.0- and 0.5-mm screens to allow a comparison of the relative efficacy of the two techniques. The community was highly diverse at all sampled locations (Shannon-Weiner Index > 3). Abundance was dominated by a relatively small number of species. A significantly higher number of individuals and species were retained on the 0.5-mm screen. Sieving the benthic organisms with a 1.0-mm sieve introduced biases in the data relative to the 0.5-mm screen, including calculations such as diversity and other parameters such as feeding guild distributions and benthic indices. Using a 0.5-mm mesh sieve did increase sample analysis costs and resulted in a larger number of individual organisms that were not identified to species.
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