Zooplankton and benthic macroinvertebrates

Our specialty is zooplankton and macroinvertebrate taxonomy as it relates to biological monitoring and assessment.

The presence and condition of aquatic life can provide accurate information about the health and condition of waterbodies in which they are found.
Benthic macroinvertebrates are the most commonly used organisms for biological assessment of running waters because they are an extraordinarily diverse group of animals that occupy many ecological niches and have representatives of most ecologically functional groups from parasites to predators.

On the other hand, in lentic waters, zooplankton occupies this intermediate position in the trophic pyramid, and its study is essential to evaluate the ecosystem. The study of this community is being increasingly incorporated into water quality studies.

Unlike fish that can escape in the event of a critical disturbance, many micro and macroinvertebrates are subjected to the conditions in the habitat they reside. Therefore, the community structure will ultimately reflect whether disturbances persist because of the sole presence of disturbance tolerant organisms.

The zooplankton and benthic macroinvertebrates communities reflects food sources available in the forms of algae, diatoms, coarse particulate organic matter and enriched sediment. In turn, this organisms are food sources for higher trophic groups such as fish. The types of food sources available will dictate which species will be able to colonize a habitat and ultimately contribute to the types of fish, amphibians, and other higher organisms present. In other words, zooplankton and benthic macroinvertebrates found in aquatic habitats ultimately signifies the quality of the habitat in which they reside.