AB 23:139-146 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00616

Evaluation of freshwater invertebrate sampling methods in a shallow aridland river (Rio Grande, New Mexico)

Ayesha S. Burdett1,2,*, Jane S. Fencl1,3, Thomas F. Turner1

1Department of Biology and Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico MSC03 2020, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA
2Present address: New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Sciences, 1801 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104, USA
3Present address: Kansas State University, 205 Leasure Hall, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Aridland rivers can present several logistical challenges for invertebrate sampling due to shifting substrate and low invertebrate densities. We compared 4 sampling methods for collecting both meiofauna and macroinvertebrates in an aridland river (Rio Grande, New Mexico): a water column sampling method, an epibenthic core, a throwtrap, and a stovepipe sampling method. The objective of this study was to find the most efficient combination of sampling methods with which to collect the entire assemblage. Differences were tested among sampling methods in terms of abundance, taxonomic richness, assemblage composition, and invertebrate body size. No single sampling method was able to provide accurate estimates of both abundance and taxonomic richness across the range of body sizes of taxa collected in this study. Invertebrates were concentrated in the epibenthos, and thus using the water column sampling method was not necessary. Samples from the epibenthic core and stovepipe sampling methods contained relatively high densities of small-bodied meiofauna, while throwtrap samples included both meiofauna and macroinvertebrates. Throwtrap and epibenthic core sampling methods together provided the most accurate estimates of taxonomic richness, density, abundance, and invertebrate assemblage composition, and were processed relatively efficiently in the laboratory. Sampling methods that performed well in the Rio Grande are likely to work well in other higher-order (>4) rivers with shifting substrates.


KEY WORDS: Sampling method · Aridland river · Meiofauna · Invertebrate size class · Sand bed · Microhabitat


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Cite this article as: Burdett AS, Fencl JS, Turner TF (2015) Evaluation of freshwater invertebrate sampling methods in a shallow aridland river (Rio Grande, New Mexico). Aquat Biol 23:139-146. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00616

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