Quantitative Extraction of Meiofauna: A Comparison of Two Methods

Published in: Zoologica Africana
Volume 13, issue 2, 1978 , pages: 175–186
DOI: 10.1080/00445096.1978.11447619
Author(s): J P FurstenbergDepartment of Zoology,, A H DyeDepartment of Zoology,, A G De WetDepartment of Mathematical Statistics,


Two methods for the quantitative extraction of meiofauna from natural sandy sediments were investigated and compared: Cobb's decanting and sieving technique and the Oostenbrink elutriator. Both techniques were more efficient with pre-fixed samples than with fresh samples. The results indicated that elutriation is the more reliable method due to its low variability, 7,5% for nematodes and 8,4% for harpacticoids and mystacocarids compared to 11,2% and 29,0% respectively in the case of decantation. However, with samples containing 3 000 to 5 000 animals per 200 cc, decantation yielded 25% more animals than elutriation.

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