The most abundant forms of life at Station Aloha are those that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Bacteria, viruses, and most phytoplankton and zooplankton can only be seen using a microscope. In order to view the plankton in the water you can use a funnel shaped net called a plankton net which is dragged or "towed" through the water. The net allows water and very small particles flow through but collects plankton that are bigger than the mesh size. The plankton are concentrated in a bottle attached to the bottom of the net. The contents of the bottle (lots of phyto and zoo plankton!) can then be viewed under a microscope. We saw pennate and centric diatoms, radiolaria, copepods and much more.
Sarah Q. Foster
Sarah is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Fulweiler Lab. This blog documents her experience taking a summer course "Microbial Oceanography: From genome to biome" at C-MORE at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.