NatureScot Commissioned Report 961 - Infaunal and PSA analysis of grab samples collected from the Sound of Barra area, 2016
This report presents new information from benthic analyses of 72 seabed sediment samples collected in the Sound of Barra area. The aim of this study was to improve knowledge of the current condition of the maerl and coarse sediment habitats on the eastern side of the Sound of Barra SAC and inform future temporal analysis of the protected features.
Grab samples were taken inside the Sound of Barra Special Area of Conservation and at reference locations to the north and south, outside the SAC boundary. The analyses included determining infaunal species diversity and the sediment composition of each of the samples. Biotopes were assigned to the samples and measurements made of a random selection of live maerl fragments from each grab sample.
Live maerl (Phymatolithon calcareum), a slow growing, reddish coralline alga, was found in 45 out of 72 samples. The species composition and sediment type recorded at all sites were consistent with the Annex 1 habitat, 'Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time'.
Analysis of seabed video imagery collected during the surveys in the Sound of Barra area has been reported separately in NatureScot Commissioned Report 959.
Publication 2017 - NatureScot Commissioned Report 961 - Infaunal and PSA analysis of grab samples collected from the Sound of Barra area 2016
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