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Ruth D. Gaid

Plankton are any floating or drifting organisms having size range relatively small and
microscopic or sometimes large(jellyfish), including both plants and animals which live
suspended in the water column of seas, lakes, ponds and rivers and which are incapable of
swimming, transporting against different physical factors such as currents, waves, wind occurring
in water bodies.
 Examples: Diatoms, Dinoflagellates, copepods, ctenophores, lervaceans, crab megalopa,
Barnacles nauplies, polychaete worms, chaetognaths, pteropods, coccolithophores, jellyfish
larvae(obelia sp.)
Diatoms Dinoflagellates
copepod Barnacle nauplius
Polychaete worm chatognath
Crab larval stage (megalopa) ctenophore
Classification of Plankton

 On the basis of nutritional requirements

1.Phytoplankton : microscopic plant likeorganisms which can do
photosynthesis . Ex : Diatoms, Dinoflagellates , cyanobacteria,
Classification of Plankton

 2. Zooplankton: are microscopic animal plankton which are

heterotrophic(both detrivores and herbivores).Ex: copepods, fish
larvae, ctenophores, crustaceans.

eel larve jellyfish larvae krill.

Classification of Plankton

Sapro plankton : Plankton found on the surface ofstagnant water.

Plankton organisms inhabiting water rich in decaying organic matter or in
foul waters. Usually they are non-photosynthetic microorganisms.
Ex: Bacteria, Fungi.
• Foundation or primary link of • Sources of food for larger
the marine food web. animals like whales.
• photosynthesis removes • Zooplankton are the
CO2from seawater helps to intermediate link that
regulate the temperature
transfers energy captured by
(global carbon cycle)
phytoplankton to these
• some phytoplankton produce
animals .
chemicals that are harmful to
humans and marine life.
• source of almost 50% of our
oxygen .
• Create red tide/HABs
What are HABs

 Harmful algal bloom is a common phenomenon in the ocean, the excess growth
of a group of plankton (mainly phytoplankton or microscopic plants) or one
species of plankton caused by the excess of nutrients like N2, P and other
environmental factors(water temperature, salinity) in an ecosystem.
 A special group of plankton are coccolithophores.
 The major number of phytoplankton that take part in bloom:
 Goryalux, Protogonxalux, Gymnodium, Dinophris,Oscillatoria.
What are HABs

Oscillatoria(cyanobacteria) Gymnodium(dinoflagellate)
What are HABs?

Coccolithophores in Bering sea Red algal bloom

What causes HABs?

 Nutrients
 Wind it stirred up the bottom deposits, liberating accumulated nutrients
intothe water .
 Upwelling
 Seismic disturbances
 Rains and flood
 Break down of foodchain
Effects of HABs

 Extensive animal mortality

 Creates unpleasant odors in any aquatic waterbody.
 Causes O2 depletion
 Nutrients depletion
 Releases different toxic substances
 H2Sincreases
 Works as a reason to break down food chain in an ecosystem.
Plankton Collecting Gears

Plankton collecting gears mean the gears by which plankton is used to

catch from any waterbody.
Plankton Net is the most common gear forcollecting plankton.

Plankton net:
- is a device or apparatus that can beused to catch or collecting plankton
(microscopic plants and animals that live in theocean).
About net
Shape: basic plankton net is a
cone shape.
Different parts of planktonnet:
• Bucket – sample collector
• Net – main parts which is made
bye silk but modern net are
almost made by nylon.
• Ring – round and strong , made
by brass, waters run through
this portion.
• Bridle –three thin ropes
attached to thering. Made by
wire or cod.
• Warp –attach with thepicks of
bridles , made by wire orrope.

Simple plankton net (RING High speed plankton

Plankton net sampling
How does seawater buffer or neutralize
acids ?

 When calcium carbonate (a solid typically found in rocks such as limestone) reacts with acidic
free hydrogen (H+) ions in seawater, the solid calcium carbonate dissolves, forming free calcium
(Ca2+) ions and free bicarbonate (HCO3–) ions . The free hydrogen ions are consumed resulting in
decreased hydrogen ion activity. In other words calcium carbonate acts to neutralise or buffer
the solution by consuming hydrogen ions.
 Similarly calcium and magnesium bicarbonates, which are present in seawater at a concentration
of approximately 140 mg/l consume free hydrogen ions, decreasing hydrogen ion activity, i.e.
the bicarbonates in the seawater used for scrubbing act to neutralize or buffer the solution by
consuming hydrogen ions.
How does seawater buffer or neutralize
acids ?

The carbonate buffering system. Atmospheric carbon dioxide enters the ocean and undergoes
chemical reactions. If the seawater is too basic, chemical reactions occur that release H+ into the
seawater and lower pH. If seawater is too acidic, chemical reactions occur that remove H- from the
seawater and cause pH to rise. Thus, buffering keeps the pH of seawater constant.
Sample Preservation

 Preserve freshly collected zooplankton with 40% formalin solution.

Formalin preserves the animals by preventing bacterial decomposition.
 Keep the preserved samples in near air-tight containers.
 The preserved samples should be stored in a dark and cool place. The
samples can be stored for a period up to 1 month in room temperature
or 6 months when placed in the refrigerator.
Formaldehyde stock solution preparation

 Step 1: Acquire the normal formaldehyde solution 40% v/v)
 Step 2: In a fume hood, measure 400 ml of the normal formaldehyde solution
with a volumetric cylinder and add it in a 1 L volumetric flask using a glass
 Step 3: Fill the flask with water to obtain 1 L of Formaldehyde Stock solution
 Step 4: Transfer the contents of the flask in a Plastic container and cap it
Counting and Biomass Estimation

 Simple counts of zooplankton can be done with a light microscope. For large
zooplankton such as Daphnia, which occur at relatively low densities (1 to 100
per liter), the entire sample may be scanned at a low magnification, counting
all observed individuals. For small zooplankton, such as rotifers and copepod
nauplii, which occur at high densities (>1000 per liter), it is standard practice
to count a known percentage of the sample volume at high magnification, and
then multiply by total volume / counted volume to obtain the total number of
animals in the sample. Once you know the number of animals of each species
in a sample, density is estimated as counts divided by volume of water filtered
with the net or collected by the trap or tube.