07 Plankton - 1 07 Plankton Lab OBJECTIVES: To discover...

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07 Plankton Lab OBJECTIVES: To discover importance of plankton in the marine ecosystem To classify some important animal and plant plankton To use a key to identify and recognize the basic characteristics of common inshore marine phytoplankton and zooplankton To estimate the relative abundance of plankton in a sample To observe the diversity and locomotion of plankton in a living sample To observe the effect of light on the movements of living plankton Plankton are drifters in the ocean. They are unable to swim against a current and include both animals and plants. In contrast, animals that are good swimmers are nekton. Plankton are extremely important in the marine ecosystem. Table 1. Marine habitats Habitat Characteristics Pelagic Nektonic Swimming organisms Planktonic Holoplanktonic Meroplanktonic Floating organisms Floating organisms for entire life cycle Floating organisms for only part of life cycle, benthic or nektonic for the rest of life cycle Benthic Sessile Infauna or inflora Epifauna or epiflora Organisms that live in one place Animals or plants that grow in sediments or rocks Animals or plants that grown on the sediments or attached to rocks or other objects Vagrant Organisms that freely move on the ocean bottom Plankton are collected using a fine mesh net towed through the water. The net we will use has a mouth opening of 0.5 m, net length of 1m, and mesh size of 70 μm. Using this net we will capture any organism larger than 70 μm. Figure 1 shows a typical plankton net. 1
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Fig. 1 Typical Plankton Net Table 2. Plankton Size Category Size ultra plankton less than 0.005 mm nano plankton 0.005 to 0.06 mm micro plankton 0.06 to 0.2 mm meso plankton 0.2 mm to 0.5 mm macro plankton 0.5 mm to 2 mm mega plankton larger than 2mm Phytoplankton Observation Observe prepared microscope slides and live samples for phytoplankton. To observe the live sample you must first prepare a “live mount” as follows: Obtain a slide and cover slip. Set up microscope as guided by your instructor (see handout on microscope care). Gently mix the collection cup containing the plankton Using a dropper, place one to two drops of plankton onto the center of the slide. You may need a drop of methyl cellulose to slow them down. Place the cover slip at the edge of the liquid and gently let it drop. Try to avoid getting air bubbles. Place the slide on the stage of the microscope starting a low power and view. You should sketch several of the organisms that you see. Drawing Plankton You will create detailed drawings of representatives of the different groups of zooplankton and phytoplankton. Include your drawings in your lab report. Your lab exercise should comprise at least 6 different species. But take the time to observe many more different species from the samples. Also try to study 2
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swimming behavior of different zooplankton forms. Observe the locomotion by antennae in copepods and by cilia in trochophora and veliger larvae. Try to put effort and patience into your drawings and document as many details
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2011 for the course BIOL 101 taught by Professor Wong during the Fall '09 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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07 Plankton - 1 07 Plankton Lab OBJECTIVES: To discover...

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