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A new benthic macrofauna and sediments sampler for attaching to otter trawl nets: comparison with the Van Veen grab.

Nuevo instrumento adosado a redes de arrastre de fondo para muestrear macrofauna bentonica y sedimentos: comparacion con la draga Van Veen

The distribution and abundance of marine benthic and demersal fauna are influenced by several abiotic and biotic factors, including mainly the nature of the bottom (Colloca et al., 2003; Abad et al, 2007; Mutlu et al., 2008; Gray & Elliot, 2009). Shelf areas covered by unconsolidated sediments are the main sites for developing of bottom trawling fisheries around the world (Watling & Norse, 1998), an activity that can negatively affect bottom communities in several ways (Gray & Elliot, 2009).

Along the Brazilian Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ), most of the benthic and demersal industrial fisheries are concentrated in the northern and in the southeastern/southern regions, where industrial pair trawlers, stern trawlers and double-rig vessels can easily complete their operations due to a fairly even, extensive, and sediment-covered continental shelf (Muehe & Sequeira-Garcez, 2005; MMA, 2006; Valentini & Pezzuto, 2006). Concerning the latter region, several authors have provided information on its bottom characteristics (Figueiredo Jr. & Madureira, 2004; Figueiredo Jr. & Tessler, 2004) and its respective fauna (Goncalves & Lana, 1991; Paiva, 1993; Almeida et al, 2012; Martins & Almeida, 2014). Most of this biological knowledge was acquired during expensive, spatially and temporally surveys aboard research vessels, which restricts a full understanding of the structure and dynamics of local bottom communities. Contrarily, hundreds of commercial trawling vessels operate all year round along the entire southeastern and southern region. These operations are a potential source of data on both the biotic and oceanographic characteristics of the shelf and slope fishing grounds, when scientific sampling is coupled with regular commercial operations.

In the region, a few studies have been conducted on the benthic and demersal megafaunas sampled aboard fishing vessels (e.g, Haimovici & Mendonca, 1996; Kotas, 1998; Perez & Wahrlich, 2005; Schroeder et al, 2014). However, none of these studies has sampled the smaller organisms of the macrofauna or produced sediment samples for the description of their habitat. The lack of vertical winches for launching grabs and box corers and conflicts with the crew due to changes in the routine and the productivity every time the vessel stops for sampling are only some of the technical and operational limitations to the conduction of oceanographic studies during commercial fishing trips.

This paper presents a new bottom sampler device that can be attached to bottom trawl nets and other fishing gears. This device consists of a steel tube with a piston positioned in the interior to slide the material collected after the trawling and two lateral supports for fixing the device to the footrope of the trawl. The sampler has an opening of 7 cm in diameter and a depth of 28 cm (area of 0.00384 [m.sup.2]), and can collect 692.72 [cm.sup.3] of sediments (Fig. 1).

The study area consisted of two sites (Brava and Navegantes beaches) along the Brazilian southern continental shelf where there is intense fishing activity that targets the capture of sea-bob shrimp. Both sites are considered exposed and of high energy, although the Navegantes Beach suffers greater influence of the continental input and, consequently, of fine-grained terrigenous material.

During each trip, we collected three sediment samples in three trawls; two using a Van Veen grab in a sampling area of 0.042 [m.sup.2], and one using the prototype sampler attached to the fishing net (area of 0. 00384 [m.sup.2]).

Samplings were conducted with an artisanal double rig vessel (9 m total length) equipped with a 60 Hp engine. Each tow lasted 5 min at a constant velocity of ca. 2 knots. The gear used was a typical shrimp otter trawl measuring 11 m (length) x 5.5 m (horizontal opening) x 2.6 cm (codend mesh size). An aliquot of 100 g of sediment was extracted from all the samples for particle size analysis. The portion that was extracted for fauna analysis was wrapped in cloth bags with a 0.5 mm mesh opening and fixed in 4% formaldehyde solution. In the laboratory, the extracted material stored in the 0.5 mm mesh was screened and identified to the lowest possible taxonomic level using a stereoscopic microscope. The particle size was analysed according to the methodology suggested by Suguio (1973).

To analyse the abiotic characteristics, we applied principal component analysis (PCA) based on the variables percentage of gravel, sand, silt and clay.

Sampler efficiency was assessed using a PERMA-NOVA applied to the similarity matrix by means of the S0rensen index (Anderson, 2001). The following factors were considered for this stage: Sampler (two levels, fixed and orthogonal, Van Veen grab and Prototype); Sites (two levels, random and nested in Sites, Brava Beach and Navegantes Beach) and Trawl (three levels, random and nested in Sites and Sampler,

1, 2 and 3), with trawling and sites treated as hierarchical factors for both of the tested samplers. The similarity matrix was represented by nonmetric multi-dimensional scaling (nMDS). The contribution of the taxa was calculated for the average similarities within the significant groups (Clarke & Warwick, 2001).

The principal component analysis (PCA) allowed the extraction and interpretation of two factorial axes that jointly explained 81% of the total variation. Axis 1, responsible for 55% of the variation, was formed by the negative coordinate resulting from the largest con centrations of silt and the positive coordinate resulting from the largest concentrations of sand. Axis 2, responsible for 26%, was formed by the positive coordinate resulting from higher concentrations of clay and the negative coordinate resulting from the largest concentrations of gravel.

The ordering of the points along axis 1 allowed the separation of the sampling stations according to the concentrations of sand. The samples collected at Brava Beach were positioned on the positive side of the axis and associated to the greater concentrations of sand. The ordering of the points along axis 2 allowed the separation of the sampling stations according to the percentages of coarse sediments. The samples collected at Brava Beach were positioned on the negative side of the axis and associated to the greater concentrations of gravel (Fig. 2).

The sediment composition of the samples revealed differences between the two sampled sites. Brava Beach presented higher concentrations of gravel and silt, while Navegantes Beach presented a greater concentration of sand. These differences in the sediment characteristics influenced the composition of the fauna. This result agrees with the findings of several studies where the sediment characteristics were mainly responsible for the spatial variation of organisms (Van Hoey et al, 2004; Lourido et al, 2010).

A total of 557 individuals were collected. Of this total, 362 were collected in the site of Brava Beach and 195 were collected in the Navegantes Beach. In the latter site, the polychaetes of the family Capitellidae and the class Bivalvia were the most abundant, with 114 and 44 individuals respectively. In the site of Brava Beach, the most abundant organisms were the Amphipoda and polychaetes of the family Paraonidae, with 137 and 42 individuals respectively (Table 1).

The variance analysis did not detect significant differences between the total number of individuals collected by the different samplers (Table 2), regardless of possible differences in the areas sampled using the Van Veen grab (0.042 [m.sup.2]) and the prototype trawler attached to the net (7 cm in diameter-area of 0.00384 [m.sup.2]).

Nonparametric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) revealed two major groups that were mainly formed according to the location. The samples collected at the Navegantes Beach formed a cluster on the right side of the diagram, while the samples taken from Brava Beach formed a cluster on the left side of the diagram. The diagram also shows that there was no distinction between the samples that were collected using the different samplers (Fig. 3).

The PERMANOVA test applied to the taxonomic composition of the macrofauna did not detect significant differences between the samplers (Pseudo-F = 0.20281; P = 0.838). Only the difference between the locations where the experiments were carried out was considered significant (Pseudo-F = 4.9999; P = 0.005) (Table 3).

The contribution to similarity analysis (SIMPER) showed that the same taxa contributed to the similarity regardless of the type of sampler. For the Brava Beach, the main taxa responsible for the similarities between samples were crustaceans of the class Amphipoda, with a similarity percentage of 18% for the samples collected with the grab and of 35% for the samples obtained using the prototype sediment sampler. For the Navegantes Beach, the taxa responsible for the similarities between the samples were the polychaetes of the family Capitellidae, with a similarity percentage of 50% for the samples collected using the grab and of 100% for the samples collected using the prototype (Table 4).

The prototype test initially consisted of investigating whether the net would support more weight, and whether attaching the device in the ground rope would destabilise the net and hinder the fishing activity. During the experiment, we did not detect any problems in relation to positioning and using the new sampler. The addition of extra weight to the ballast cord did not destabilise the net and the device returned to the surface full of sediment in all the trawls, thus enabling the analysis of fauna and sediment particle size.

It is well known that sediment characteristics can significantly influence the associations of macrofauna species. Despite the differences between the sites, the results of the multivariate analyses indicated that there was no difference between the samplers. Both showed the same efficiency when compared to the abundance and composition of the sampled fauna. This indicates that the new sampler attached to trawl nets can be used both in muddy and sandy sediments, with a similar representation to a Van Veen grab. This efficiency, and the fact that the device does not interfere with the routine of the vessel or the performance of trawl fishing, suggests the promising use of this equipment for the routine sampling of fauna and sediment aboard commercial fishing vessels. These results allow proposing tests that these conditions are maintained when the equipment is used in a more expensive expedition, as large industrial vessels and at greater depths.

DOI: 10.3856/vol44-issue5-fulltext-20

Received: 15 October 2015; Accepted: 06 July 2016

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Tito Cesar Marques de Almeida (1), Patricio M. Arana (2), Rodrigo Sant'Ana (3) & Paulo Ricardo Pezzuto (3)

(1) Lab. de Ecologia de Comunidades Aquaticas, Centro de Ciencias Tecnologicas, da Terra e do Mar Universidade do Vale do Itajai, Itajai, SC, Brazil

(2) Escuela de Ciencias del Mar, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Valparaiso, Chile

(3) Grupo de Estudos Pesqueiros, Centro de Ciencias Tecnologicas, da Terra e do Mar Universidade do Vale do Itajai, Itajai, SC, Brazil

Corresponding author: Tito Cesar Marques de Almeida (tito@univali.br)

Corresponding editor: Antonio O. Avila-da-Silva

Caption: Figure 1. a) Attached position of the new sampler device on trawl nets, b) and c) sampler device scheme with the respective dimensions. 1: 28 cm, 2: 50 cm, 3: 7 cm, 4: 8.5 cm.

Caption: Figure 2. Results of the principal component analysis on sediment composition of the two sampled areas. Total variance explained by both axis were 81% (axis 1: 55%; axis 2: 26%). Sites: NAVEGA = Navegantes; BRAVA= Praia Brava; New sampler device =Tube; Grab = Van veen.

Caption: Figure 3. Multidimensional non-parametric scale analysis (nMDS) results. Sites: Navegantes' Beach as Navega and Brava's Beach as Brava. Van Veen grab as Grab and new sampler device as Tube.
Table 1. Macrofauna composition in the two sites sampled
in this experiment, Brava's and Navegantes' beaches.

Phylum          Taxa                Brava   Navegantes   Total
                                    Beach     Beach

Annelida        Capitellidae        8          114        122
                Paraonidae          42          11        53
                Lumbrineridae       35          0         35
                Spionidae           25          5         30
                Onuphidae           25          1         26
                Mageloniidae        17          2         19
                Orbiniidae          7           0          7
                Pilargidae          4           2          6
                Oweniidae           4           1          5
                Goniadidae          3           0          3
                Nereidae            3           0          3
                Ampharetidae        1           0          1
                Flabelligeridae     1           0          1
                Glyceridae          1           0          1
                Magelona            1           0          1
                  variolamellata
                Poecilochaetidae    1           0          1
                Sigalionidae        1           0          1
                Sigambra            1           0          1
Arthropoda      Amphipoda           137         3         140
                Cumacea             13          11        24
                Brachyura           7           0          7
                Decapoda            3           0          3
                Tanaidacea          2           0          2
Echinodermata   Ophiuroidea         1           0          1
Enteropneusto   Enteropneusto       1           0          1
Mollusca        Bivalvia            15          44        59
                Gastropoda          3           1          4
                Heleobia            1           0          1
Nemertea        Nemertea            7           2          9
Total                               362        195        557

Table 2. PERMANOVA results on macrofauna composition.

Source of variation       df     SS        MS

Sampler                   1    1817.4    1817.4
Sites (Sampler)           2     19560    9780.1
Trawl (Sites (Sampler))   8     15648    1956.1

Source of variation       Pseudo-F   P (perm)   Perms

Sampler                   0.20281     0.838       6
Sites (Sampler)            4.9999     0.005      995
Trawl (Sites (Sampler))   0.81195     0.759      999

Table 3. Summary of macrofauna contribution on
similarity mean by significant factors in PERMANOVA.

                Brava Beach Site

                    Grab-Model
                     Van Veen

Taxa           Freq.   S (%)   Accum. (%)

Amphipoda      2.59    18.64     18.64
Lumbrinerida   1.86    14.07     32.70
Paraonidae     2.07    12.24     44.95
Spionidae      1.72    11.98     56.92
Bivalvia       1.15    8.34      65.26
Cumacea        1.02    7.66      72.92
Onuphidae      1.31    7.35      80.27
Mageloniidae   1.25    6.57      86.84
Nermertea      0.67    4.72      91.56

                 Navegantes Beach Site

                    Grab-Model
                     Van Veen

Taxa           Freq.   S (%)   Accum. (%)

Capitellidae   2.91    50.09     50.09
Amphipoda       0.5    36.25     86.34
Bivalvia       1.65    11.89     98.23

                        Brava Beach Site

                          Prototype of
                        sediment sampler

Taxa           Taxa            Freq.   S (%)   Accum. (%)

Amphipoda      Amphipoda       4.77    35.29     35.29
Lumbrinerida   Onuphidae       1.62    13.51     48.80
Paraonidae     Nermertea       1.00    12.14     60.94
Spionidae      Lumbrineridae   1.55    12.14     73.08
Bivalvia       Brachyura       1.05    5.26      78.34
Cumacea        Mageloniidae    0.67    5.11      83.45
Onuphidae      Oweniidae       0.67    3.31      86.76
Mageloniidae   Paraonidae      0.91    3.31      90.07
Nermertea

                      Navegantes Beach Site

                           Prototype of
                         Sediment Sampler

Taxa           Taxa            Freq.   S (%)   Accum. (%)

Capitellidae   Capitellidae    2.19     100       100
Amphipoda
Bivalvia
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Title Annotation:Short communication
Author:Marques de Almeida, Tito Cesar; Arana, Patricio M.; Sant'Ana, Rodrigo; Pezzuto, Paulo Ricardo
Publication:Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research
Date:Nov 1, 2016
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