Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

A comparison of two benthic survey methods

  • 70 Accesses

  • 2 Citations


The belt transect and the flowmeter methods, used to survey sedentary benthic organisms, were compared based on abundance estimates of tridacnid clams in the Cagayan Islands, Philippines, in April 1985. Two-way ANOVA and chi-square tests (P<0.05) show that both methods recorded similar estimates for the number of clams (regardless of species), both methods gave similar estimates for the number of individuals per species, and one or both methods may be biased for certain sizes of clams. Individuals smaller than 6 cm shell length seemed to be underestimated by the flowmeter method. Future studies must investigate the size selectivity of the method used, for instance by conducting permanent belt, transect surveys of varied belt widths (e.g. 1, 1.5,2,2.5 m) and then comparing the recorded lengths of the most abundant clams. This will aid investigators to evaluate their data properly, and enable comparison of clam-stock estimates between surveys.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Literature cited

  1. Brown, J. H., Muskanofola, M. R. (1985). An investigation of stocks of giant clams (family Tridacnidae) in Java and of their utilization and potential. Aquacult. Fish. Mgmt 1: 25–39

  2. Bryan, P. G., McConnell, D. B. (1976). Status of giant clam stocks (Tridacnidae) on Helen Reef, Palau, Western Caroline Islands, April 1975. Mar. Fish. Rev. 38 (4): 15–18

  3. Hester, F. J., Jones, E. C. (1974). A survey of giant clams, Tridacnidae, on Helen Reef, a Western Pacific atoll. Mar. Fish. Rev. 36 (7): 17–22

  4. Hirschberger, W. (1980). Tridacnid clam stocks on Helen Reef, Palau, Western Caroline Islands. Mar. Fish. Rev. 42 (2): 8–15

  5. Pearson, R. G. (1982). Assessment and management of fisheries for sessile invertebrates. In: Munro, J. L. (ed.) Ecological aspects of coastal zone management: marine and coastal processes in the Pacific. Proceedings of a Seminar at Motupore Island Research Centre-Papua New Guinea. UNESCO-ROSTEA, Jakarta, p. 123–159

  6. Snedecor, G. W., Cochran, W. G. (1980). Statistical methods, 7th ed. Iowa State University Press, Iowa

  7. Walpole, R. E. (1974). Introduction to statistics. MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York

  8. Zar, J. H. (1984). Biostatistical analysis. Prentice-Hall, Inc., New Jersey

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Communicated by G. F. Humphrey, Sydney

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mingoa, S.S.M., Menez, L.A.B. A comparison of two benthic survey methods. Mar. Biol. 99, 133–135 (1988).

Download citation


  • Future Study
  • Similar Estimate
  • Shell Length
  • Survey Method
  • Benthic Organism