Zooplankton Identification and Enumeration
Inclusion of zooplankton community analysis can help provide a more thorough understanding of water quality. Zooplankton are an important link in the aquatic food web, serving both as consumers- of algae, bacteria, and other microorganisms- and as prey for larger animals such as fish. In some lakes, the relative abundance of zooplankton species or types can be an indicator of water quality. Some species are limited by physicochemical variables, such as oxygen, temperature, or salinity. Zooplankton are also affected by competition between species, predation by other species, and food availability.
Continuous, long-term monitoring of zooplankton community structure can be useful in detecting patterns and changes in species composition that may be related to changes in water quality. A routine monitoring program also helps to separate the ordinary effects of seasonal changes in the zooplankton community from changes caused by other factors. The species composition in a particular water body usually remains somewhat stable over time, and the sudden appearance of new species or disappearance of existing species could indicate a change in water quality due to toxic substances, eutrophication, or imbalance between piscivorous and planktivorous fish.
Water's Edge Scientific LLC provides analysis of water samples for identification and enumeration of zooplankton. Due to increasing state and federal regulations requiring biological monitoring of aquatic systems for water quality studies, risk assessments, and other aquatic surveys, there is a growing need for specialized services within this realm.
Zooplankton counts are performed using a high-power stereozoom microscope. Crustacean zooplankton are typically identified to species where possible; rotifers are typically identified to genus (species if possible). Biomass is estimated by fitting length measurements to appropriate regression equations.
Our services are provided to engineering firms, environmental consultants, water companies, lake associations, aquaculturists, golf courses, public institutions, landowners, and others requiring a biological approach to water quality issues. Preserved samples for algae or invertebrate analysis are accepted from clients throughout the United States. Upon request, Water's Edge Scientific LLC will also perform field sampling for algae, zooplankton, or invertebrate studies. Field sampling done by the corporation is currently limited to the upper Midwest.
Due to the variability of project specifications, we will be happy to provide a price quote based on your specific project needs.
Please contact us for more information regarding services, pricing, and sample submission guidelines.