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Title says it all. I've been searching for the best way of collecting macrofaunal priapulids and would like advice on sampling methods and particularly sampling tools. Since large priapulids are usually found in low densities any form of grab-sampler would probably be inefficient and a dredge/trawl would be preferred. Any ideas on what tool(s) would sample at the right depth and filter efficiently?

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The Ecology listserve (ECOLOG-L@listserv.umd.edu) would be a good bet to find expert responses to such a question; it would be useful to reference this question if you were to post there. –  David Jun 19 '12 at 4:31

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My first question would be is there any external indication of them such as air holes or anything else that you can assess from the surface? I would think that if there is, you could use transects and a quadrat. If you need to dive for them you can obviously make a weighted quadrat by filling pvc pipe with sand and gluing it together. Then take an area and lay out transects and and randomly choose different lengths along each transect to put the quadrat down and that will give you an estimate of density. If you actually need to extract them from the mud, I imagine that varies by species and you could make due with a grab sampler of the right size, something on the small end I would imagine. That way you aren't dredging up tons and tons of mud to sort through. If they are even rarer than I imagine, you could just lay out transects and swim them until you see something and do away with the quadrat. Hope this helps.

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