Villefranche sur mer
The Census of Marine Life is concerned with biodiversity, biomass and distribution. Both anthropogenic and natural factors may modify species diversity, standing stocks or geographic distribution. Besides fishing activities and the effects of the pollution on the higher trophic levels of marine food chains, interactions between the different components of the ecosystem should not be neglected. These interactions force populations to respond to competition for food resources, to predation or to recruitment decline. Optical techniques, but also the combination of optical and acoustical methods, are promising techniques for the estimation of stocks. Knowledge about the behavior and the biology of organisms as well as the use of attractants and other lures can facilitate the assessment of taxonomic diversity. Optical, non-invasive methods may add new data to the dearth of information about the importance of fragile fauna composed of gelatinous forms. Studies of historical records are necessary for the understanding and predictive modelling of the population successions or changes. The application of neural network methods associated with optical techniques and the formation of easily accessible databanks will facilitate collaboration among experts. The use of 3D imaging for educational purposes will create new vocations in this field. Optical methods should be coupled with other techniques, including sequencing and the elaboration of DNA chips. Focused studies should be conducted in carefully determined geographic provinces utilizing different moored or drifting platforms to ascertain the importance of large and small scale variability.
The Underwater Video Profiler is a microprocessor driven instrument package developed in Villefranche sur mer, France for the identification of fragile zooplankton (http://www.obs-vlfr.fr/~pvm/).
Example of organisms recorded by the Underwater Video Profiler (medusa, copepod, mollusks, ctenophore, siphonophore, marine snow).
3D reconstruction of organisms (for example following serial sections) for taxonomy and education. Here the Tunicate Oikopleura albicans. (http://www.obs-vlfr.fr/~eurapp/)
This page is maintained and was last updated 20-Nov-00 by Pip Sumsion (firstname.lastname@example.org).