Soft-bottom macro-fauna communities are often dominated by polychaetes, crustaceans, clams and other echinoderms, but several other animal groups may also occur.
The species composition in the sediment can provide important information about the environmental conditions at a site. Most marine soft-bottom species are perennial and have relatively low mobility. They therefore reflect any long-term effects due to environmental impact at a site.
The department in Trondheim performs marine benthos taxonomic species identification. Samples are first sorted, then identified and quantified according to NS-EN ISO 16665:2013 and NS9410:2007. This is a requirement of accredited C-surveys and is otherwise important as an indicator of various environmental parameters.