Crude Sediment and Benthos Comparison
of Two Sites in Cowichan Bay

Abstract
Sediment and benthos of two sites in Cowichan Bay were sampled and compared in order to conduct an initial assessment of potential effects of log handling. A Ponar grab was used to collect samples which were then sieved, qualitatively analyzed, and sorted. Organisms were separated into general categories, assigned a species name when possible, and counted. Results were then compared to each other and to data obtained earlier in the summer by groups of students involved in a marine science camp.

The sites showed variation in sediment type, diversity, and richness. The site closest to the log handling was found to contain much wood debris and a high mud content as well as showing a less diverse biological community, dominated by segmented worms. The site farther away from log handling was found to have less wood debris, more sand and shell debris, and had a greater percentage of suspension feeders, namely bivalves such as Axinopsida serricata and Parvalucina tenuisculpta. Recommendations include further sampling, more detailed sampling, and consistent monitoring of the benthic community to ascertain whether or not log handling is having a negative effect on this community and in turn the other organisms which depend on it.

This research has been supported by: Information Highway, Science and Entrepreneurship (ISE) Camps, Industry Canada; Summer Career Placements Program, Human Resources Development Canada; and Shell Environmental Fund, Shell Canada.
Abstract | Introduction | Methods and Materials | Results | Discussion and Conclusions | Pictures

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