Evaluation of sampling sizes on the intertidal macroinfauna assessment in a subtropical mudflat of Hong Kong

Ping Ping Shen, Hong Zhou, Zhenye Zhao, Xiao Zhang Yu, Ji Dong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In this study, two types of sediment cores with different diameters were used to collect sediment samples from an intertidal mudflat in Hong Kong to investigate the influence of sampling unit on the quantitative assessment of benthic macroinfaunal communities. Both univariate and multivariate analyses were employed to detect differences in sampling efficiencies by the two samplers through total abundance and biomass, species richness and diversity, community structure, relative abundance of major taxa of the infaunal community. The species-area curves were further compared to find out the influence of the sampling units. Results: showed that the two sampling devices provided similar information on the estimates of species diversity, density and species composition of the benthos in main part of the mudflat where the sediment was fine and homogenous; but at the station which contained coarse sand and gravels, the significant differences were detected between the quantitative assessments of macrobenthic infauna by the two samplers. Most importantly, the species-area curves indicated that more and smaller samples were better in capturing more species than less large ones when comparing an equal sampling area. Therefore, the efficiency of the sampler largely depended on the sediment properties, and sampling devices must be chosen based on the physical conditions and desired levels of precision on the organisms of the sampling program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1706-1716
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Core sampler
  • Intertidal mudflat
  • Macrofauna
  • Sampling unit


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