Unbaited phreatic traps: A new method of sampling stygofauna

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(1) A new method of sampling stygofauna is presented, along with some data derived from applications in the field. Numerous bores were sampled for fauna, water and bacteria, down to a depth of 7.50 m. Two or 3 unbaited traps were fixed to a central pole within the bore. The traps consist of an inert plastic chamber with holes in the upper parts and gaskets near the bottom and near the lid of each trap. The content of the traps was emptied monthly using a pump. (2) While the taxonomic composition of the trap samples seemed to be comparable to the surrounding groundwater, estimation of abundances in the traps might differ, with a potential over-estimation in the traps, in particular in sparsely populated aquifers. Detailed comparative studies on the performance of the method are, as yet, lacking. (3) Trap data of invertebrate communities reflect hydraulic changes, and highest abundances and taxa richness were found near the water table. They decreased rapidly with depth, implying that small-scale stratified sampling is possible. (4) The technique is cheap, reliable, simple and rapid to use, and allows simultaneous sampling of hydro-chemical, faunal and microbial samples. The method seems to be suitable for a wide range of sub-surface waters, where the water table is shallower than 8 m. © 2005 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.




Hahn, H. J. (2005). Unbaited phreatic traps: A new method of sampling stygofauna. Limnologica, 35(4), 248–261. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.limno.2005.04.004

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