New results in mapping small-scale
plankton structure in the ocean

Jules S. Jaffe, Ph.D.
Marine Physical Lab
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Thursday, January 15, 1998
12:00 noon—MBARI Pacific Forum

Since conventional tools for sampling phytoplankton sample very small volumes (cm3) and those for sampling zooplankton integrate over large spatial scales, the small-scale structure of both phytoplankton and zooplankton in the sea are largely unknown. From the ecological prospective, the distribution of algae and animals is important in understanding how matter and energy are transferred through the food web. Over the last several years, several new instruments have been developed and deployed whose collective goal is to measure the small-scale structure of these plankton.

This talk will describe a sonar-imaging system, which records the positions of individual zooplankters in volumes on the order of several cubic meters. In addition, results from an optical-imaging system, which uses fluorescence mapping to measure phytoplankton structure, will be presented. Together, both systems comprise a first look into the small-scale structure of these organisms.

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Last updated: December 19, 2000