“Visualizing plankton”

Microbes are the most abundant members of the plankton. Millions to tens of millions of them are present in every teaspoon (5 ml) of surface seawater and they carry out many important functions in the marine food web. Even though they are numerous, they are so incredibly small that they cannot be seen with the unaided eye. So how do microbial oceanographers study them?

One common tool used to see and count the smallest plankton is the epifluorescence microscope. This video illustrates how samples are collected and how plankton are visualized by fluorescence with this special kind of light microscope.

This video is the first in a series of educational videos being produced by C-MORE to explain the concepts and techniques of microbial oceanography.


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