Measuring and sampling

In this chapter we will outline briefly some of the measuring and sampling techniques used at sea to obtain information of interest to ecologists. To evaluate the interactions between organisms and their environment, both oceanographic and biological data are required. Oceanographic data relate to the inorganic parameters of the environment, including measurements of water movement, temperature, composition, illumination and depth, and the nature of the sea bottom. Biological data relate to the distribution, numbers, activities and relationships of organisms in different parts of the sea. In order to collect this range of information, a great variety of apparatus has been devised. Techniques have changed greatly with the advent of modern electronics and computing capabilities and new methodologies are continually being devised. Only a few methods currently in wide use are described here. More detailed information can be found in the handbooks and references listed at the end of the chapter. Those interested in older techniques should refer to previous editions of this book.

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