Benthic Macrofauna Analysis
Benthic macrofauna analysis is the main tool used to characterise the biological communities present within marine and estuarine sediments. All macrofauna analysis is conducted in-house by our experienced benthic ecologists who are adept in the identification and enumeration of benthic fauna (and flora) in marine and estuarine samples from all around the UK.
The benthic ecology laboratory aims to provide analysis services to the highest standards, and as such, takes part in all three components (mandatory and non-mandatory) of the National Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control Scheme [NMBAQC].
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 [NMBAQCS] guidelines, as well as Ecospan Environmental Ltd’s Standard Operating Procedures.
Upon collection, samples are preserved in a 10% buffered formalin solution. 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 taxa 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.