Author / Editor: Eneko Bachiller, Jose Antonio Fernandes (AZTI-Tecnalia)
Content: Rapid development of semi-automated zooplankton counting and classification methods has carried out new chances when defining objectives for plankton distribution studies. Image analysis allows processing many more samples than under microscope classification with less effort and faster, but with lower taxonomical resolution. Although research in this field has been recently focused in scanning devices, different equipment for image capturing such as photographic cameras can offer alternative utilities. In this manual the whole zooplankton sample processing is explained according to laboratory protocols followed in AZTI-Tecnalia, from sample preparation to automated taxonomic identification using scanner and digital camera for digitizing samples and ZooImage as software. In addition, a new internal control methodology is proposed in order to obtain a reliable quality check of the whole zooplankton identification analysis procedure: if an error occurs in any step of the procedure, this will be reflected on results.