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In Situ Phytoplankton Analysis: There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom
Analytical Chemistry (2012)
  • Jeffrey S. Erickson
  • Nicole N. Hashemi
  • James M. Sullivan
  • Alan D. Weidemann
  • Frances S. Ligler
Approximately 70% of the earth is covered with water, within which the most dominant organism is phytoplankton. Not only is phytoplankton at the base of the marine food web, but it also fixes excess carbon dioxide and regulates sulfur on a global scale.1 Changes in phytoplankton populations have been linked to toxicity to humans and marine life, pollution, and global climate change.2 Routine monitoring of both fresh and salt water ecosystems has been taking place formany years, with consortia set up explicitly for this purpose. Consensus indicates that five categories of information are useful for early warning systems.3,4 These are (1) local nutrient concentrations, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, (2) overall chlorophyll concentration, (3) mean phytoplankton density, (4) phytoplankton community analysis, including size distributions, chlorophyll distributions, and density of toxic species, and (5) physical variables, such as water temperature, salinity, pH, and turbidity. Some of this information can be obtained over very large areas and long time intervals by remote monitoring with satellites, aircraft, or balloon. Satellites such as SeaWiFS andMODIS have yielded daily coverage with algorithms developed that focus on harmful algal blooms (HABs) and red tide detection5,6 as well as chlorophyll concentration.7 However, current satellites can only independently identify the culprit of blooms that have very distinct optical properties, such as Trichodesmium, Coccolithophores,8 or Karenia brevis.9 Most HABs cannot be remotely tracked until the organism has first been identified at the ocean surface.
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
Reprinted with permission from Anal. Chem., 2012, 84 (2), pp 839–850. Copyright 2012 American Chemical Society.
Citation Information
Jeffrey S. Erickson, Nicole N. Hashemi, James M. Sullivan, Alan D. Weidemann, et al.. "In Situ Phytoplankton Analysis: There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom" Analytical Chemistry Vol. 84 Iss. 2 (2012)
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