Chlorophyll And The Concentration Of Chlorophyll

1467 Words Sep 27th, 2016 6 Pages
Plankton are aquatic organisms that drift throughout their environment as they posses no true motor capabilities. Within their respective aquatic habitats plankton form the productive basis of their ecosystem and are divided into two subcategories: zooplankton and phytoplankton, the later will be the primary focus of this paper. Phytoplankton, as well as other photosynthetic organisms poses pigments called chlorophyll. These pigments allow phytoplankton to convert carbon dioxide and water to oxygen and sugar, which provides the phytoplankton with energy. Due to the fact that all phytoplankton posses chlorophyll scientists have developed methods that use chlorophyll testing in order to understand more about phytoplankton as a whole. Phytoplankton posses different types of chlorophyll but scientists usually sample chlorophyll-a as it is the most abundant form (YSI Environmental, Cullen 1982, Santos 2003). Several different methods have been developed to analyze the concentration of chlorophyll-a.
One method of analyzing chlorophyll-a that has been developed is through chlorophyll extraction. In order to perform this method one must first collect a fairly large water sample (see Plankton Web citation for surface water sampling techniques). This sample must then be filtrated in order to concentrate the chlorophyll-containing organisms (see Plankton Web for filtration methods). Finally mechanical rupturing of the collected cells, and extraction of the chlorophyll from the…
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