The Marine and Estuarine Zooplankton Ecology research group, led by professor Erik Muxagata, is located in the Zooplankton Laboratory of FURG’s Oceanography Institute. This group was founded in 2009 to promote the study of the ecology of zooplanktonic organisms in Patos Lagoon Estuary and in neritic, oceanic and Antarctic environments. This laboratory was originally formed in the late 1970s by Dr. Mónica A. Montú and primarily studied the role of zooplanktonic organisms in the above ecosystems. Due to their diversity, abundance and high growth rates, zooplanktonic organisms play a key role in the transfer of phytoplankton primary production to organisms on higher trophic levels. They are also crucial to the biological pump, through which great quantities of carbon from surface waters are delivered to the ocean floor. Because of their importance, this research group, with the aid of collaborators, aims to study the contribution of zooplanktonic organisms to energy flux processes and their responses to chemical, physical, biological and environmental changes. Given these aims, the following research lines are pursued: long-term monitoring of micro- and mesozooplankton; secondary production of holoplanktonic and meroplanktonic organisms; influence of chemical, physical, biological and environmental parameters on the distribution, composition and abundance of holo- and meroplanktonic organisms; cultivation of zooplanktonic organisms for use in bioassays and aquaculture; characterization of colonization processes in hard substrates (biofouling); antimicrobial tolerance tests; and Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) data processing and analysis.
Partnerships: Laboratory of Marine Phytoplankton and Microorganisms, Laboratory of Turtles and Marine Mammals, Laboratory of Ichthyoplankton Ecology, Laboratory of Benthic Invertebrate Ecology.
Figura 1. Zooplankton sampling with Bongo net.
Figura 2. Microscopy and analysis room from Zooplankton laboratory of IO/FURG.