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A laser optical plankton counter for laboratory and in situ size distributions of zooplankton, to assess the basis and outcomes of changing ecosystems

Project Member(s): Ralph, P., Doblin, M.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Linkage Infrastructure)

Start year: 2010

Summary: The researchers will integrate studies of zooplankton biodiversity from the tropics to the Southern Ocean with an optical plankton counter to quickly measure zooplankton size and approximate shape. This new technology, together with a resurgence in collaborative marine science through the Integrated Marine Observing System and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, will enable Australian researchers to understand changes in the plankton in freshwater or in estuaries, as well as in the East Australian Current. This current has already strengthened and is predicted to be the area of greatest warming in the Southern Hemisphere. The response of plankton communities to these changes will have profound effects on Australian fisheries and livelihoods.