BSA Environmental Services is the industry leader for zooplankton analyses.
Zooplankton populations of cladocerans, copepods, and rotifers face the same challenges as all other animals -the need for food and oxygen, excretion of metabolic wastes, and reproduction. Although they are tiny, the relative abundance and diversity of these organisms dramatically influences energy flow, nutrient cycling, and community dynamics within aquatic ecosystems. In addition to being an important component of the food web in aquatic systems, zooplankton are valuable indicators of changes in water quality over time. Zooplankton analyses provide government and commercial entities the necessary information to make informed decisions about management and restoration of aquatic systems.
With over 26 years of experience, zooplankton analyses are among BSA’s core competencies, having extensive experience analyzing numerous freshwater, estuarine and marine zooplankton samples from lakes, reservoirs, ponds, riverine, estuarine and coastal systems throughout North America and Africa. BSA is extremely knowledgeable of zooplankton biogeography. Our data have been utilized in numerous published scientific articles and long term water quality studies. BSA performed the zooplankton analyses for the 2012 and 2017 USEPA National Lakes Assessment.
BSA provides accurate identification, enumeration, and biomass estimations. Accurate biomass estimates of zooplankters by species and developmental stage are essential for modeling ecological processes occurring in lakes. Biomass estimates of zooplankton can be made by either direct determination on a microbalance or estimated from length and/or width relationships. In addition, BSA also offers sampling method and preservation guidance, as well as study design of the zooplankton analysis for our clients. BSA produces voucher collections of zooplankton specimens with permanent slides of samples, mounted using standard techniques.
BSA also provides identification, enumeration, and biomass measurements of invasive species such as veliger larvae of Dreissena polymorpha (Zebra Mussels) and Dreissena bugensis (Quagga Mussels) and invasive cladocerans such as Bythotrephes longimanus (Spiny Water Flea) and Daphnia lumholtzi. Undesirable species, nuisance, and invasive species (exotics), may have significant negative economic, social, and ecological impacts. Data obtained from these analyses are used to effectively monitor and manage exotic species, which is necessary to maintain satisfactory water quality conditions and preserve native populations.
BSA has extensive expertise analyzing population shifts before, during, and after severe droughts. We have provided several agencies with data and the appropriate analyses to track zooplankton population changes in drought challenged water bodies; including Lake Mead, NV and Lake Okeechobee, FL.
Ash-free dry weight determination
Water quality indices calculation
Diversity indices calculation
Reference slide preparation
Larval fish gut content analyses