CLIMATE CHANGE severely impacts the functioning of
marine and fresh-water microorganism ecosystems and is reflected in
their changing biodiversity and structure. Thus, scientific surveys of
the biology and environmental parameters of these populations provide
unique information to help us understand the relationship between their
environmental forcing and plankton dynamics. These surveys are
expensive in terms of the amount of expert time required to identify,
enumerate and compare the sampling results.
"HYDROPTIC's key objective is to facilitate
the automation of the identification, size distribution and enumeration
of zooplankton species and sediments in the waters of the world. We
believe that by developing systems that will reduce the expert time
spent at the microscope in routine identification and enumeration of
zooplankton and by providing a repeatable system for the comparison of
the characteristics of zooplankton populations we can help advance the
important ongoing scientific investigations into the effects of climate
change and global warming.
HYDROPTIC is the developer, manufacturer and
distributor of its systems under exclusive licence from and in active
cooperation with the Centre National de
la Recherche Scientifique, France's
governmental scientific establishment and L'Université
Pierre et Marie Curie. In particular, we
acknowledge the research and innovation by the scientists at CNRS
L'Observatoire Océanologique who developed the
COINDAT, Managing Director, HYDROPTIC
located in the village of L'Isle en Dodon well within range of
Toulouse, the aerospace and high technology centre of France. This
proximity has allowed us to develop lasting partnerships
with the high-tech companies who provide many of the fabrication skills
that go into our systems. Much of the experimentation and testing
necessary to maintain HYDROPTIC's
products at the forefront of world technology is carried out at the CNRS
L'Observatoire Océanologique at Villefranche sur
Mer on the Mediterranean coast.
HYDROPTIC manufactures and
distributes the ZooSCAN,
systems world-wide. These systems are designed and fabricated to the
highest technical standards specifically for the collection,
identification and enumeration of zooplankton and microscopic sediment
particles in both fresh and salt water.
The Zooscan system consists of a laboratory device that captures
high-quality digital images of the organisms and particles in 1litre,
conventionally collected, water samples. These samples may contain as
many as 5000 individual zooplankton such that specimens as small as 200
µm can be readily identified on the computer screen.
Integrating these images with available open source software allows the
automatic identification and subsequent enumeration of in excess of 75%
of the individuals present. This identification is effected by
comparing the digital image with a fauna image database.
The UVP (Underwater Vision Profiler) also captures high quality digital
images of water and zooplankton samples but in this case the images are
acquired by a camera IN SITU and to a depth of up to 6000m!
The computerised device is designed to be combined with the standard
CTD (Conductivity, Temperature and Depth) 'rosettes' used on most
oceanographic survey ships and can be programmed to acquire images at
specific times and/or depths and transmit the data to the surface for
storage. It can also be deployed from a moored buoy fitted with a
programmable winch where it can be programmed to acquire and store
images unattended for up to six months. The same software used with
ZooScan provides the automated identification and enumeration however
the lower size limit of identification of species is 200 µm.
The Nemo sampling reservoir is a marked advance on currently available
models employing a high-density, erosion resistant polypropylene casing
with stainless steel fittings and incorporating a drainage port which
can easily be fitted with mesh having the same mesh-size as the sample
closely with CNRS to develop, manufacture and distribute other
ancilliary equipment and software to support these systems and provides
training and support for their application. HYDROPTIC's
clients include Universities
and Research Organisations carrying out scientific
investigations in the oceans and waters of all 5 continents.