The commercial crawfish ponds that line the highways of Roberts Cove, Louisiana, are very busy this time of year. These waters are teeming with plankton that can’t be seen with the naked eye. The Plankton Laboratory at Louisiana State University (LSU), uses dynamic imaging particle analysis to study the microscopic life in these ponds.
Plankton make up the base of the aquatic food chain and play a vital role in the pond ecosystem. To better understand these tiny organisms, LSU students use a FlowCam®. In their pond samples the students found numerous species of cyanobacteria, chlorophytes, diatoms, ciliates, rotifers, and many more. The FlowCam data helps students determine the abundance and composition of the plankton community at their study site.
To see FlowCam images of the organisims found in the crawfish pond, visit the LSU Plankton Laboratory online.