Phytoplankton experience

Phytoplankton communities are the building blocks of aquatic ecosystems and communities. They quickly respond to anthropogenic impacts and phytoplankton are therefore a key component of the classifications of lakes under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Particularly in the case of cyanobacteria they also have the potential to cause sometimes severe effects in aquatic ecosystems that require complex mitigation.

APEM’s phytoplankton specialists have extensive expertise and experience in this field. They are trained in UKAS accredited methods and regularly participate in international quality assurance schemes.

This enables us to handle both large and small contracts efficiently and cost effectively, ranging from 300 samples for the Lower Thames WFD assessment to smaller jobs identifying unknown algal growth.

Our bespoke services include rapid analysis of potentially toxic blue-green algae, production of WFD biovolume data and survey design and mitigation.

We also offer assessment of the impacts of eutrophication, primarily indicating response to nutrients, through the use of the PLUTO assessment tool. This classification method can also be used to assess phytoplankton in lakes according to the requirements of the WFD.

We regularly work with a wide range of organisations including environment and conservation agencies, local authorities, water companies, event organisers and owners of private lakes.

Overall, APEM’s UKAS accredited methodologies and laboratories place the company at the forefront of algal analysis.

  • Closterium setaceum
  • Freshwater phytoplankton analysis 1
  • Freshwater phytoplankton analysis 2
  • Freshwater phytoplankton analysis 3
  • Freshwater phytoplankton

Key projects

  • Phytoplankton analysis of Irish lakes for the Northern Ireland Environmental Protection Agency. APEM has been providing sample analysis and biovolume calculation for several years, analysing more than 100 lake samples from all over the country to WFD standards.
  • Lower Thames baseline ecological survey for Black & Veatch. Approximately 250 samples were analysed, including the measurement and calculation of biovolumes and ecological quality ratios.

If you have any queries, please contact Richard Bassett, technical specialist.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.