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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

Comparison of several techniques for sampling macroinvertebrates in different habitats of a North Iberian pond

Garcia-Criado, Francisco; Trigal, Cristina


Several habitats of a Mediterranean pond were sampled for macroinvertebrates using different techniques: quantitative methods, semiquantitative hand-net sweep sampling and a qualitative protocol based on hand-net sweeps with fixed counts of individuals. The taxonomic composition was analyzed by DCA and several indices based on taxon composition or percentage of individuals were calculated. The aim of the study was to compare the results provided by these techniques and, in particular, to check if the qualitative approach could be an appropriate low-cost methodology for use in biomonitoring. The results provided by the three sampling methods in relation to submerged macrophytes were very similar. In soft sediment, certain differences were found between the quantitative and semi quantitative techniques. The qualitative protocol applied to single habitats collected fewer taxa than the corresponding quantitative or semiquantitative techniques. However, the overall protocol, consisting of samples from three habitats, provided higher richness values than all the quantitative and semiquantitative methods together, with 59 taxa out of the 70 collected during the study. It is concluded that this qualitative methodology performed reasonably well since it offers a reliable view of the community and it misses few taxa. Moreover, it is not so time consuming as other techniques and can be applied in a variety of habitats. It, therefore, seems to be an efficient method for bioassessment of the macroinvertebrate communities of ponds or the littoral zone of lakes.


ponds; macroinvertebrates; sampling methodology

Published in

2005, Volume: 545, pages: 103-115
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)

    SLU Authors

    • Trigal, Cristina

      • University of León

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences

    Publication Identifiers


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