Corer sampling and seabed imaging are two quantitative approaches used to investigate benthic fauna. Despite the complementary nature of these methods, very few studies have been done using both in parallel. Here, we compare benthic composition and abundance data derived from the quantitative faunistic analysis of both multibox corer samples (MBC) and seabed images (SBI) taken concomitantly at 16 stations in the Filchner–Ronne region of the southern Weddell Sea (Southern Ocean) during R/V Polarstern cruise PS82 (ANT-XXIX/9) in 2013/14. A total of 43 benthic taxa were found, 34 in MBC and 29 in SBI samples. Mean benthic abundance derived from MBC was 20 times higher than the SBI abundance (1708 vs. 71 ind m−2)—best explained by SBI being a method focusing on the epifauna alone, whereas MBC also captures the more abundant infauna. Differences in taxa caught by both gears demonstrated that MBC alone were not sufficient for a comprehensive representation of the entire benthic fauna. The among-station similarity patterns derived from both methods correlated significantly; a different combination of taxa best explained the specific distribution patterns. Overall, our results demonstrate similar and comparable spatial distribution patterns in the benthic communities by both methods. We therefore highly recommend the use of both, MBC and SBI in combination.
Polar Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 22, 2017
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