Instrument: Optical Plankton Counter

External Identifier:
» skos:broadMatch

An OPC provides quantitative measurements of abundance and sizes of mesozooplankton ranging between approximately 0.25 and 14 mm in Equivalent Spherical Diameter (ESD), and has the capability to integrate measurements from other sensors such as a CTD, fluorometer and Global Positioning System (GPS). It can be deployed on a variety of instruments such as SeaSoar, Aries, Scanfish, MOCNESS, a bongo net or simple towing frame. The data from an OPC are typically transmitted to a data acquisition computer through two conducting wires in a towing cable at real time, but it can also be modified to have an internal memory. Large amounts of data are produced. The procedures employed by OPC users vary from; i) estimating integrated biomass by integrating the OPC size distributions, ii) comparing size distributions between OPC and net samples, and iii) simply isolating a size region in the OPC size distribution which correspond solely to specific taxa, eg. Calanus spp..

from: Zhou, M., Tande, K., 2002. Optical Plankton Counter Workshop. GLOBEC Report 17, University of Tromso, Tromso