Using in situ flow cytometry images of ciliates and dinoflagellates for aquatic system monitoring

<div><p>Abstract Short-period variability in plankton communities is poorly documented, especially for variations occurring in specific groups in the assemblage because traditional analysis is laborious and time-consuming. Moreover, it does not allow the high sampling frequency required for decision making. To overcome this limitation, we tested the submersible CytoSub flow cytometer. This device was anchored at a distance of approximately 10 metres from the low tide line at a depth of 1.5 metres for 12 hours to monitor the plankton at a site in the biological reserve of Barra da Tijuca beach, Rio de Janeiro. Data analysis was performed with two-dimensional scatter plots, individual pulse shapes and micro images acquisition. High-frequency monitoring results of two interesting groups are shown. The abundance and carbon biomass of ciliates were relatively stable, whereas those from dinoflagellates were highly variable along the day. The linear regression of biovolume measures between classical microscopy and in situ flow cytometry demonstrate high degree of adjustment. Despite the success of the trial and the promising results obtained, the large volume of images generated by the method also creates a need to develop pattern recognition models for automatic classification of in situ cytometric images.</p></div>