Wednesday, June 06, 2007

In the bay 6 June 2007

One word: SNAILS! They were abundant last time and there are even more of them out there this week.

I know a fair amount about phytoplankton and am pretty good at identifying them. See the list of previous students here. When I came up with the idea of posting microscope images take of samples from the bay here on mixotrophy, I was ( and still am) planning on focusing on phytopankton. Of course this time of year, the zooplankton population is high and all of these little heterotrophs are busy grazing on the phytoplankton. This keeps phytoplankton cell abundance low. As a result, I am not seeing much of what I was planning on photographing. There are plenty of zooplankton to look at of course. The problem is, identifying zooplankton is much harder for me. Getting good live pictures is also a challenge because they move around.

I did get a few nice images though. Here is another larvae viewed in bright field. It is the nauplius stage of some type of crustation (I think).

This is the same view in dark field:


marek said...

Hi Andrew, really great blog, great source of info!
If you have some glycerol, it might help to slow them down a bit.

amstar said...


Thanks for visiting. I am going to have to be very careful with my plankton IDs knowing you might stop by.

Do you know if the glycerol will effect the dinoflagellates*? Meaning will it make them burst? I'd like to get some pictures of those some time.

*note that it is not spelled deenoflagellates.

marek said...

Andrew, I don't know for sure, but it is worth of try. It was recommended to me by my supervisor, Dr Erich Kukk, for slowing down flagellates in general. It was 15-20 years ago...

Dinos probably would not burst. Sheding of flagellas might be an issue (especially with cryptos, etc) , though this is a problem with watermount also.

An added bonus of glycerol is that the prep will dry slower, you have more time to study a slide. Add some stain e.g. ink for cool video ;-)