Shedding Light on Zooplankton

by, Zoe Goezner

This summeIMG_8029r CIEE interns reopened a previous research project studying the differing densities and diversity of macrozooplankton and meiozooplankton communities attracted to white and ultraviolet radiation in Lac Bai. Interns: Mikaela Montonari and Zoe Goozner constructed and tested three sampling apparati that use a dual sieve system of differing mesh sizes to collect plankton that is attracted to the different light sources. They compared the planktonic communities that were attracted to white light, UV light, and darkness. This research topic is not well studied making the results of this project even more vital for the improvement of the understanding of planktonic life characteristics. With the increase of abiotic light pollution in marine environments, this research will highlight the potential ecological ramifications of attracting zooplankton with certain wavelengths of the visible light spectrum.

IMG_1863IMG_5221The first round of sampling concluded last week, July 17, and now the interns are busy at work in the lab manually sorting the samples using microscopy. Intern Zoe Goozner has been sorting the samples from the white light apparatus and has found a high density of planktonic shrimp and copepods. Stay tuned to see what else these interns uncover!

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