Assessing the suitability of passive bio-collectors for monitoring biodiversity of subtidal cobble-bottom habitat

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University of New Brunswick


This study is part of a larger project aiming to develop a tool and program to monitor biodiversity in rocky subtidal habitats using a passive bio-collector filled with cobble. I compared the communities of “settlers” and “crawl-ins” sampled by the bio-collectors to those found on nearby natural cobble substrate, and assessed the effects of cobble size and surface complexity on recruitment into the bio-collectors. The bio-collectors provided a good representation of what was found on the natural substrate, as there was high species overlap (54%) between the two sampling methods and most (80%) species not found in both were exclusive to the bio-collectors. Cobble size was found to have a small but significant effect on recruitment into the bio-collectors, and surface complexity had a significant effect on settlement of an abundant encrusting species (Anomia simplex). Results show that these passive bio-collectors offer a good tool to monitor cobble-bottom communities.