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A new substrate for sampling deep river macroinvertebrates

We compared macroinvertebrate communities colonising multiplate samplers constructed from perspex or tempered hardboard (wood) with an alternative artificial substrate constructed from folded coconut fibre matting (coir) enclosed in nylon netting. Substrates were incubated for 62 days over January to March 2007 at six sites over 240 km along the Waikato River. The three substrates supported similar numbers of invertebrate taxa (27 - 29 taxa), but coir samples contained 71% of total invertebrate numbers from all substrates combined, compared with <17% for each type of multiplate sampler. Coir faunas were heavily dominated by the hydrobiid snail Potamopyrgus (84 % of numbers), and this taxon along with the amphipod Paracalliope comprised 58 - 66 % of invertebrates on both types of multiplate samplers. Analysis of a Bray-Curtis matrix suggested statistically significant differences in percent community composition between coir samplers and each type of multiplate sampler over the late summer study period. Densities per cm3 of Oligochaeta, Mollusca, and "other worms" (Platyhelminthes, Rhabdocoela, Nemertea and Hirudinea combined) were significantly higher in coir samples than one or both of the multiplate samplers. Results suggest coir samplers may provide a useful supplement to multiplate samplers for deep river invertebrate studies by collecting a different range of taxa, including those favouring cover and characteristic of depositional environments.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Collier, K. J., Hamer, M. & Chadderton, W. L. (2009). A new substrate for sampling deep river macroinvertebrates. New Zealand Natural Sciences, 34, 49-61.
University of Canterbury, School of Biological Sciences
This article has been published in the journal: New Zealand Natural Sciences. Used with permission.