1063-0740/05/3102- © 2005 Pleiades Publishing, Inc.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2005, pp. 128–133.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2005 by Biologiya Morya, Tkachenko.
Methods of counting benthic organisms with appli-
cation of video-and photo-shooting have gained greater
and greater popularity and actuality in the global prac-
tice of hydrobiological works since the 1990s. The
stimuli for the introduction of such methods are clear
and indisputable: preservation of the integrity of
counted communities; scope of greater areas of count-
ing; signiﬁcant reduction and often elimination of labo-
rious diving works, which is especially relevant in work
at greater depths or in areas of complicated bottom
topography and of high hydrodynamics. The industry
of underwater photography began its main develop-
ment almost with the invention of scuba gear; however,
the introduction of methods of photocounting in hydro-
biology commenced much earlier than the use of
videotransects, in the beginning of the 1970s [11, 21].
Since then the photography of count frames has been
used widely for obtaining the parameters of benthic
shelf communities [7, 8, 10, 12, 16, 18, 24, 32].
Thanks to the continuous development of video
technology, in the past 15 years video shooting has
begun to supersede traditional photography both in
qualitative and in quantitative study of the epibenthos
[9, 14, 16, 19, 20, 23, 25, 26, 27, 31]. The basic advan-
tages of video shooting are the faster collection of data
from a greater area of the bottom than with application
of underwater photography or traditional methods and
the opportunity to analyze them almost at once in a sta-
tionary laboratory. Unfortunately, similar techniques
have not received proper development in domestic
hydrobiology. Only a few studies in which photography
was applied as an additional tool in researching benthic
communities have been published [2, 3].
The objective the present of work is to develop
methods of video and photo counting relative to com-
mon species of the epibenthos inhabiting the hard bot-
toms of Peter the Great Bay and optimization of such
counts in situ and in laboratory analysis of the shot
material. This paper is a constituent of the complex
research of patterns of the spatial distribution of inver-
tebrates on the rocky sublittoral in the area of the Far
East State Marine Natural Biosphere Reserve (FESM-
NBR) [5, 6, 28].
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The material for this work was collected in the sum-
mer months from 1999 to 2001 and in August 2003 on
the rocky sublittoral of Bolshoi Pelis and Durnovo
islands (Rimsky-Korsakov Archipelago). The benthos
count by photo-quadrates was carried out by the stan-
dard technique suggested by Bohnsack . There
were established 12 ﬁxed stations at depths of 2–15 m;
4 photoframes of an area of 0.25 m
and an additional 9
photoframes with an area of 0.06 m
were allocated at
each station. The frames were randomly allocated on
the bottom. Stations were established at contrasting
sites by their microrelief of the rocky surface, and the
number of stations varied depending on the spatial
spread of the site. The size of the registration area was
considered as the most suitable for the given species at
a population density close to 10 ind/reg. area .
Kul’chinsky’s index  was applied for determination
of the optimum of the registration area:
Application of Video- and Photomethods
in Hydrobiological Research
K. S. Tkachenko
Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Received September 17, 2004
—The application of nondestructive methods such as video-transects and photo-quadrates to epifau-
nal communities of hard bottoms of Peter the Great Bay is analyzed in the present work. It was shown that
video-transects gave more representative material than photo-quadrates for a greater area of scope. Two ways
of transect shooting were considered, and a modiﬁed technique of counting the projective cover of the substrate
by invertebrates with application of color segmentation and “AutoCAD
” software is suggested. The advan-
tages and drawbacks of video- and photo-methods of epibenthos counting are considered.
video-transect, photo-quadrates, epibenthos, method of color segmentation.