We offer expert services in aquatic invertebrate taxonomy (benthic invertebrates and zooplankton) to aid our clients in understanding the direct impacts industries place upon aquatic habitats.
Our analytical methods typically follow Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM) guidelines for the sorting and identification of benthic invertebrates and zooplankton, although we cater methods to our clients needs. For quality assurance, we sublet 10% of samples to a qualified external source for identification (samples must not differ by more than 10%).
Please view the attached protocol document for details on our sorting and identification protocols for benthic grabs.
We carry a minimum 3-month turnaround time for benthic invertebrate samples and a 1-month turnaround time for zooplankton (dependent on the number of samples). Rush samples are accepted with an associated fee.
We follow Standard Methods guidelines for zooplankton as follows:
- Samples are mixed with water and allowed to settle for at least 10 hours.
After the samples have settled they are decanted down to a known volume (100 or 200 ml).
- The samples are homogenized and a pipette is used to transfer 10 ml of sample into a sedimentation chamber (for an accurate count of rotifers and smaller invertebrates).
- Another fraction is placed into a Sedgewick-Rafter slide for the identification of cladocerans and copepods.
- The sample is analyzed 10 ml at a time until 200 organisms have been counted and measured (for bio-volume calculations).
Organisms are identified to genus (species where possible).