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YU Nan, SUN Song, WANG Shiwei, LIU Qun, ZHANG Guangtao, ZHANG Fang, SUN Xiaoxia. An enhanced underwater camera apparatus for seabed observation of megabenthic epifauna in the northern Yellow Sea[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2020, 38(6): 1799-1810

An enhanced underwater camera apparatus for seabed observation of megabenthic epifauna in the northern Yellow Sea

YU Nan1,2,3,4, SUN Song1,2,3,4,5, WANG Shiwei2,3,5, LIU Qun2,3,5, ZHANG Guangtao2,3,5, ZHANG Fang1,2,3, SUN Xiaoxia2,3,5
1 Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
2 Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental Science, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266237, China;
3 Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
5 Jiaozhou Bay Marine Ecosystem Research Station, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
Seabed photographing has been applied with various underwater camera apparatuses (UCAs) for observations of megabenthic epifauna, which reveals more details than traditional sampling tools do. In this study, we improved a UCA named a towed underwater video-camera system (TUV system) with image processing software for seabed photographing in coastal areas up to 100 m. In May 2017, the TUV system was tested at 4 stations in the Zhangzi Island marine area in the northern Yellow Sea to investigate local megabenthic epifauna, especially brittle stars. At each station, more than 500 good seabed photographs each in area of 0.155 0 m2 were obtained in just 10 min. Almost all of the epifauna larger than 1 mm could be identified from the photographs, including echinoderms, bivalves, cnidarians, and crustaceans. Three dominant brittle stars (Ophiopholis mirabilis, Ophiura sarsii vadicola, and Stegophiura sladeni) were spotted, and their abundance, disc diameter, cluster size, and coverage area were calculated and analyzed from the seabed photographs. The results show that the TUV system could be applied in coastal waters of hard sandy bottoms and could be used for quantitative investigations of megabenthic epifauna.
Key words:    seabed photography|brittle stars|underwater camera apparatuses (UCAs)|coastal waters   
Received: 2019-04-26   Revised: 2019-07-11
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