Two better than one: The complementary of different types of artificial substrates on benthic marine macrofauna studies

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Marine Environmental Research - Elsevier.
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Non-destructive methodologies based on the use of artificial substrates (AS) for quantitative sampling of mac-rofauna have been used to solve sampling problems in complex benthic environment, such as rocky reefs. The macrofauna assemblages of two different types of AS (dendritic and crevice), at two different locations were studied. The main goal was to evaluate the complementarity of dendritic and crevice AS when sampling the macrofauna associated with rocky environments, in two scenarios: within the same location and between lo-cations. With this approach, we intend to contribute to the development of a non-destructive sampling meth-odology based on AS. The hypotheses tested were that i) the assemblages associated with each type of AS would differ between them and, ii) regardless of AS type, assemblages would differ between locations. Our results revealed significant differences after three months between the macrofauna assemblages from dendritic and crevice substrates in both locations and differences between locations irrespective of the AS type used. Hence, due to the high number of species that only were attracted by each type of AS and the species settlement preferences, our findings have shown the complementarity of the two types of AS (dendritic and crevice). This suggests that the mixed use of AS could be the best approach to non-destructive standard monitoring programs based on benthic marine macrofauna.
Epifaunal assemblages , Artificial substrates , Crevice fauna , Marine macrobenthos