02 Nov Blog #4 – Meiofauna Monitering
I got to participate in one of the long-term monitoring research projects here at Olympic National Park supervised by Bill Baccus and Steve Fradkin. Meiofauna is a diverse assemblage of tiny invertebrates living in the benthos. They are crucial to the ecosystem, especially when considering the increasing anthropogenic pressure, as they are considered to be the essential starting point of marine food webs. Therefore, a major component of a healthy biodiverse ecosystem relies on the population of Meiofauna.
For the monitoring research, we first measured 50 meters from the top of the beach during low tide. Then, we scooped up four plastic canisters filled with sand and then panned through each sample to count how many meiofauna we could identify. The research group will be repeating this method across the entire coast of
It was really interesting to see how the population density shifted as we changed along the different depths of the beach. Though I only got to join this project once, I’m very excited to see what the future holds.