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TableĀ 1 Common invertebrate sampling techniques.

From: Light traps for sampling marine biodiversity

Method Organisms collected Drawback
Benthic core Animals buried in the sediments Destructive as habitat is removed in sampling. More mobile animals escape. Time consuming to collect and process samples. Specimens usually damaged during collection
Grab sample
Dredge Specimens at and just below surface
Quadrat scraping Sessile animals on solid surface
Suction sampler Benthic organisms Destructive. Expensive equipment and labour intensive
Plankton net or pump Free floating and slow moving organisms Cannot sample in structurally complex areas. Specimens can be damaged by net. More mobile taxa escape
Visual including photography Observe larger mobile fauna and sessile and sedentary macrobiota Mobile macrofauna not sampled
Baited traps Larger mobile macrofauna Limited to scavenging species and will attract megafauna that predate smaller species
Artificial substrata Sessile, sedentary and nestling biota Have to be left in situ for weeks to months to be colonised
Emergence and sediment traps Select benthic animals that move up or down in water column Need to be large to capture sufficient number of animals and/or left in place for days