Algae viability over time in a ballast water sample

The biology of vessels' ballast water needs to be analysed for several reasons, one of these being performance tests of ballast water management systems. This analysis includes a viability assessment of phytoplankton. To overcome logistical problems to get algae sample processing gear on board of a vessel to document algae viability, samples may be transported to land-based laboratories. Concerns were raised how the storage conditions of the sample may impact algae viability over time and what the most appropriate storage conditions were. Here the authors answer these questions with a long-term algae viability study with daily sample analysis using Pulse-Amplitude Modulated (PAM) fluorometry. The sample was analysed over 79days. The authors tested different storage conditions: fridge and room temperature with and without light. It seems that during the first two weeks of the experiment the viability remains almost unchanged with a slight downwards trend. In the continuing period, before the sample was split, a slightly stronger downwards viability trend was observed, which occurred at a similar rate towards the end of the experiment. After the sample was split, the strongest viability reduction was measured for the sample stored without light at room temperature. We concluded that the storage conditions, especially regarding temperature and light exposure, have a stronger impact on algae viability compared to the storage duration and that inappropriate storage conditions reduce algal viability. A sample storage time of up to two weeks in a dark and cool environment has little influence on the organism viability. This indicates that a two week time duration between sample taking on board a vessel and the viability measurement in a land-based laboratory may not be very critical.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01780938
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 28 2020 2:05PM