NatureScot Commissioned Report 946 - Infaunal and PSA analyses of benthic samples collected from South Arran MPA, Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh MPA and Southern Trench MPA proposal
This report reveals the findings of an analysis of 76 seabed sediment samples taken from Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) late in 2015. Faunal components were identified and a sediment particle size analysis (PSA) carried out for each sample.
The late 2015 MPA surveys aimed to:
- examine the spatial distribution of seabed habitat features in the Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area (NCMPA) and proposed Southern Trench NCMPA
- establish baseline conditions in South Arran NCMPA, against which to gauge how well new MPA management measures worked
Flame shells were found in five samples from Loch Alsh, with maximum shell length ranging from 30mm to 42mm across the samples. This variance in size suggests active recruitment to the area’s extensive flame shell beds – a finding consistent with previous studies.
Mud and sand habitats were found across the Southern Trench NCMPA proposal. Ross worms were recorded at one station, along with many small ‘blocks’ of their tubes, which suggests that biogenic reefs may be present. This habitat appears on the OSPAR List of Threatened and/or Declining Species and Habitats and is thought to be under-recorded in Scottish waters
A separate report covers the analysis of infaunal samples taken earlier in 2015 from around Arran. See: NatureScot Commissioned Report 945
Publication 2017 - NatureScot Commissioned Report 946 - Infaunal and PSA analyses of benthic samples collected from South Arran MPA, Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh MPA and Southern Trench MPA proposal
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