Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



The phytoplankton monitoring program in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay was initiated in July 1985. A total of 13 stations (7 in the lower Chesapeake Bay and 6 in the major trtbutaries) are sampled on a regular basis to quantify phytoplankton (Birdsong et al., 1987; 1988). A primary objective of the monitoring program is to document longterm trends in phytoplankton abundance and species composition and use this information as one means of evaluating the effectiveness of pollution abatement strategies, particularly related to the reduction of nutrients to the Chesapeake Bay.

The philosophy of monitoring programs is to consistently apply widely accepted quantification techniques over long periods of time as the best means of determ1ning long-term trends in ecosystem states. At the inception of Virginia phytoplankton monitoring program,. a modified Uterriiohl inverted microscope technique (Marshall, 1984) was the method chosen for phytoplankton identificat.i on and enumeration. However, questions have been raised about the effectiveness of this technique ·to adequately quantify the smaller-sized phytoplankton cells,



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