Our benthic ecology team has been analysing samples since the 1970’s and are adept in the identification and enumeration of fauna and flora in marine and estuarine benthic samples collected from all around the UK. Ecospan’s benthic ecology laboratory takes part in external quality control via the National Marine Biological Quality Control scheme (NMBAQCS).
Sample Preservation, Processing and Analysis
Faunal sampling and preservation is carried out in accordance with standard methodologies (including ISO 16665:2005) and according to the National Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control Scheme guidelines, as well as Ecospan Environmental Ltd’s Standard Operating Procedures. Upon collection, samples are preserved in a 10% buffered formalin solution containing the vital stain Rose Bengal.
Back in the laboratory, the macrofauna is separated from sediments and macroalgae, and subsequently identified to species level and counted. Where requested the biomass of each species is also determined.
A verified reference collection containing hundreds of species sampled from previous Ecospan projects from all around the UK has been compiled. This collection is held within the laboratory for reference where necessary during projects.