Video sleds effectively survey epibenthic communities at dredged material disposal sites
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Video sleds effectively survey epibenthic communities at dredged material disposal sites

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  • Journal Title:
    Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
  • Description:
    This research assessed the effectiveness of benthic video sleds for monitoring the impacts of dredged material disposal on epifauna at shallow and deep water disposal sites near the mouth of the Columbia River, USA. Video sleds collected visual transects at the two disposal sites and comparable reference areas during 2014 and 2015 within a Before-After, Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design. These flat, soft-bottom habitats are populated by demersal fish and benthic invertebrates, including the economically important Dungeness crab (Cancer magister). At the shallow site, results from multivariate Similarity Profile Analysis (SIMPROF) and univariate ANOVA tests on prominent species did not detect any significant differences between disposal and reference communities. At the deep site, the multivariate and univariate analyses detected differences in communities and abundances between years, rather than between disposal and reference locations. At the scale of this research, there was no detectable impact of dredged material disposal on the epifauna communities at these two Pacific Northwest disposal sites. While the species resolution of cryptic or small organisms was found to be limited, the video sled technique had sufficient power to detect potential differences in most epifaunal species densities with a BACI statistical design. We found the video sleds were an effective tool to assess potential impacts of dredged material disposal on epifauna.
  • Source:
    Environ Monit Assess. 2019; 191(6): 404.
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    CC BY
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