Assemblage, size and abundance bias in a novel sandy shore macro-infaunal sampling technique
Sampling sandy shore macro-invertebrate fauna is critical in enhancing our understanding of beach ecology and conservation, and is a common monitoring approach. The traditional, and almost universal, method of sampling involves sieving sand to locate infauna, but here we describe a novel Hydraulic Sampling Device (HSD), a candidate method for future macro-invertebrate sampling, which has the potential to be faster and more effective at sampling invertebrates. We compared the results obtained by these two methods. Macro-invertebrate fauna of six beaches on Phillip Island, southern Victoria, Australia were sampled in the upper and lower beach. On average, the HSD sampled a smaller size range of fauna than the sieving method, perhaps because of longer handling times and escape of larger individuals. The sieving method found more individuals and a higher species richness. The methods we describe do not produce directly comparable results. On balance, the sieving method is simpler, apparently not as prone to â€˜escape biasâ€™, and reports higher abundances and richness of beach infauna.