What are you measuring?
I will be measuring phytoplankton growth rates, microzooplankton grazing rates (how quickly the phytoplankton are eaten by larger plankton), phytoplankton photophysiology (how well the phytoplankton are photosynthesizing), and DMSP synthesis rates (how quickly phytoplankton are making DMSP).
What techniques/instruments are you using?
To see what phytoplankton groups are there and determine any changes in the phytoplankton community I will use a flow cytometer. I will conduct incubation (bottle) experiments to estimate phytoplankton growth and grazing rates and DMSP synthesis rates. A fluorescence induction and relaxation fluorometer (FIRe) will be use to assess phytoplankton photosynthesis.
How frequently are you measuring samples?
Samples will be collected daily and experiments will be conducted every 2 days.
Why is this important?
The measurements that I will be taking will help us to understand how phytoplankton populations will respond to an environment with increased CO2 levels and pH changes. We will also hopefully gain an understanding of whether changing pH stress will alter phytoplankton community structure triggering an increase or decrease in DMSP production. This knowledge is crucial if we hope to predict how future phytoplankton populations will respond to ocean acidification and what effect this might have on our climate.