The emergence of automated high-frequency flow cytometry : revealing temporal and spatial phytoplankton variability Article - 2008

Melilotus Thyssen, Glen A. Tarran, Mikhail V. Zubkov, Ross J. Holland, Gérald Grégori, Peter H. Burkill, Michel Denis

Melilotus Thyssen, Glen A. Tarran, Mikhail V. Zubkov, Ross J. Holland, Gérald Grégori, Peter H. Burkill, Michel Denis, « The emergence of automated high-frequency flow cytometry : revealing temporal and spatial phytoplankton variability  », Journal of Plankton Research, 2008, pp. 333-343. ISSN 0142-7873

Abstract

Phytoplankton observation is the product of a number of trade-offs related to sampling processes, required level of diversity and size spectrum analysis capabilities of the techniques involved. Instruments combining the morphological and high-frequency analysis for phytoplankton cells are now available. This paper presents an application of the automated high-resolution flow cytometer Cytosub as a tool for analysing phytoplanktonic cells in their natural environment. High resolution data from a temporal study in the Bay of Marseille (analysis every 30 min over 1 month) and a spatial study in the Southern Indian Ocean (analysis every 5 min at 10 knots over 5 days) are presented to illustrate the capabilities and limitations of the instrument. Automated high-frequency flow cytometry revealed the spatial and temporal variability of phytoplankton in the size range 1-similar to 50 mu m that could not be resolved otherwise. Due to some limitations (instrumental memory, volume analysed per sample), recorded counts could be statistically too low. By combining high-frequency consecutive samples, it is possible to decrease the counting error, following Poisson’s law, and to retain the main features of phytoplankton variability. With this technique, the analysis of phytoplankton variability combines adequate sampling frequency and effective monitoring of community changes.

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