Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Headquaters
Type of resources
Contact for the resource
The purpose of the current study was to initiate site condition monitoring of the reefs of Loch Creran. This was done to establish a baseline biological data set that would facilitate the assessment of the condition of the reef habitats in the future and to allow a judgement to be formed on the current condition of these habitats. The approach taken to achieve these objectives was to assess the extent and distribution of serpulid reefs from observations by diver along 110 transects around the loch. Detailed studies were also performed at four of the major serpulid reef sites in the loch. Here, distribution was examined with sidescan sonar, reef density by video and the community of organisms associated with the habitat by diver survey of the reefs themselves and of the surrounding sediment. The distribution and abundance of Modiolus was examined along seven relocatable transects and, at one of the major mussel beds, the size structure of the population and associated community surveyed. Subtidal rocky reefs were surveyed by diver along relocatable transects at three sites.
A survey of habitats with particular reference to maerl around the Summer Isles, Ross and Chromate, Scotland was undertaken by the Benthic Mapping and assessment project (BMAP), at the University of Newcastle, in collaboration with Scottish Natural Heritage. Careful integration of acoustic data with biological data forms the basis of biological resource maps.
Mapping the distribution of maerl in South Uist, Western Isles was a collaborative study between Scottish Natural Heritage and the BioMar Programme. The survey used acoustic techniques, video drops, ROV, grab samples and diver surveys. The result was a map of predicted biotope distribution.