Abstract Title

Session S-09A: Harmful Algal Blooms, Climate, Shellfish, and Public Health - Emerging Issues in a Changing World

Keywords

Harmful Algal Blooms and Shellfish

Location

Room 615-616-617

Start Date

2-5-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

2-5-2014 12:00 PM

Description

The entire Puget Sound region faces challenges from a growing human population and a changing climate that will likely exacerbate already critical threats to the health of the Sound. Recent efforts to restore and protect Puget Sound highlight a need for essential information concerning biodiversity and the seasonal dynamics of its marine inhabitants. The King County Marine and Sediment Assessment Group manages a long-term marine monitoring program designed to assess water quality in the Central Puget Sound Basin. Since 1995, data are collected monthly for physical, chemical, and biological (chlorophyll a) parameters at various locations and depths throughout the Puget Sound Central Basin. The addition in 2008 of a long-term phytoplankton component to this program was deemed critical in order to predict how changes in climate and other regional stressors will impact the Sound’s trophic structure. With the recent acquisition of a FlowCAM system it will be possible to collect a more extensive and robust dataset for Puget Sound phytoplankton monitoring, as well as respond promptly when analysis of harmful algal bloom samples is needed. Emerging technologies, such as FlowCAM, allow for increased automation and standardization in phytoplankton analysis, thus representing a significant advancement over traditional microscopy methods. FlowCAM is an imaging particle analysis system that combines elements of flow cytometry, microscopy, fluorescence detection and sophisticated image analysis for the identification and classification of aquatic microorganisms. Efficient use of this technology for taxonomical work, however, requires a significant and sometimes lengthy development effort by the user, as the software needs to be “trained” to recognize and classify the particles of interest. We have developed a FlowCAM protocol that is able to identify and count approximately 25 Puget Sound phytoplankton taxa or groupings. Our protocol also yields data that are useful descriptors of assemblage composition, such as particle size distribution, total biovolume and the biovolume of chlorophyll-containing cells. We will present FlowCAM validation data and sample statistics obtained for three long-term stations in the Puget Sound central basin. While a light microscope is still necessary for accurate taxonomic identification, most samples can be adequately characterized using our FlowCAM protocol.

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May 2nd, 10:30 AM May 2nd, 12:00 PM

Use of Flowcam Technology for Phytoplankton Monitoring in Central Puget Sound

Room 615-616-617

The entire Puget Sound region faces challenges from a growing human population and a changing climate that will likely exacerbate already critical threats to the health of the Sound. Recent efforts to restore and protect Puget Sound highlight a need for essential information concerning biodiversity and the seasonal dynamics of its marine inhabitants. The King County Marine and Sediment Assessment Group manages a long-term marine monitoring program designed to assess water quality in the Central Puget Sound Basin. Since 1995, data are collected monthly for physical, chemical, and biological (chlorophyll a) parameters at various locations and depths throughout the Puget Sound Central Basin. The addition in 2008 of a long-term phytoplankton component to this program was deemed critical in order to predict how changes in climate and other regional stressors will impact the Sound’s trophic structure. With the recent acquisition of a FlowCAM system it will be possible to collect a more extensive and robust dataset for Puget Sound phytoplankton monitoring, as well as respond promptly when analysis of harmful algal bloom samples is needed. Emerging technologies, such as FlowCAM, allow for increased automation and standardization in phytoplankton analysis, thus representing a significant advancement over traditional microscopy methods. FlowCAM is an imaging particle analysis system that combines elements of flow cytometry, microscopy, fluorescence detection and sophisticated image analysis for the identification and classification of aquatic microorganisms. Efficient use of this technology for taxonomical work, however, requires a significant and sometimes lengthy development effort by the user, as the software needs to be “trained” to recognize and classify the particles of interest. We have developed a FlowCAM protocol that is able to identify and count approximately 25 Puget Sound phytoplankton taxa or groupings. Our protocol also yields data that are useful descriptors of assemblage composition, such as particle size distribution, total biovolume and the biovolume of chlorophyll-containing cells. We will present FlowCAM validation data and sample statistics obtained for three long-term stations in the Puget Sound central basin. While a light microscope is still necessary for accurate taxonomic identification, most samples can be adequately characterized using our FlowCAM protocol.