WISER deliverable D3.1-4: guidance document on sampling, analysis and counting standards for phytoplankton in lakes

Mischke, Ute; Thackeray, Stephen ORCID:; Dunbar, Michael; McDonald, Claire; Carvalho, Laurence; de Hoyos, Caridad; Jarvinen, Marko; Laplace-Treyture, Christophe; Morabito, Giuseppe; Skjelbred, Birger; Lyche Solheim, Anne; Brierley, Bill; Dudley, Bernard. 2012 WISER deliverable D3.1-4: guidance document on sampling, analysis and counting standards for phytoplankton in lakes. WISER, 51pp. (CEH Project Number: C03630EU)

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
D3_1_4_sampling_analysis_counting_phytopl_24Feb2012_final[1].pdf - Published Version

Download (1MB)


Sampling, analysis and counting of phytoplankton has been undertaken in European lakes for more than 100 years (Apstein 1892, Lauterborn 1896, Lemmermann 1903, Woloszynska 1912, Nygaard 1949). Since this early period of pioneers, there has been progress in the methods used to sample, fix, store and analyse phytoplankton. The aim of the deliverable D3.1-4 is to select, harmonize and recommend the most optimal method as a basis for lake assessment. We do not report and review the huge number of European national methods or other published manuals for phytoplankton sampling and analysis that are available. An agreement on a proper sampling procedure is not trivial for lake phytoplankton. In the early 20th century, sampling was carried out using plankton nets. An unconcentrated sample without any pre-screening is required for quantitative phytoplankton analysis, for which various water samplers were developed. Sampling of distinct water depths or an integral sample of the euphotic zone affects the choice of the sampler and sampling procedure. The widely accepted method to quantify algal numbers together with species determination was developed by Utermöhl (1958), who proposed the counting technique using sediment chambers and inverse microscopy. This is the basis for the recently agreed CEN standard “Water quality - Guidance standard on the enumeration of phytoplankton using inverted microscopy (Utermöhl technique)” (CEN 15204, 2006). This CEN standard does not cover the sampling procedure or the calculation of biovolumes for phytoplankton species, although Rott (1981), Hillebrand et al (1999) and Pohlmann & Friedrich (2001) have contributed advice on how to calculate taxa biovolumes effectively. Willén (1976) suggested a simplified counting method, when counting 60 individuals of each species. For the Scandinavian region an agreed phytoplankton sampling and counting manual was compiled, which has been in use for about 20 years (Olrik et al. 1998, Blomqvist & Herlitz 1998). It is very unfortunate that no European guidance on sampling of phytoplankton in lakes was agreed before the phytoplankton assessment methods for the EU-WFD were developed and intercalibrated by Member States. In 2008 an initiative by the European Commission (Mandate M424) for two draft CEN standards on sampling in freshwaters and on calculation of phytoplankton biovolume was unfortunately delayed by administrative difficulties. Recently a grant agreement was signed between the Commission and DIN (German Institute for Standardization) in January 2012 to develop these standards. We believe this WISER guidance document can usefully contribute to these up-coming standards.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 2 - Ecohydrological Processes > WA - 2.3 - Assess the responses of river, lake and wetland ecosystems to ecohydrological drivers
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Acreman
Funders/Sponsors: European Commission
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Freely available online - click on Official URL link
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Related URLs:
Date made live: 27 Mar 2012 11:22 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...