Integrated approaches for phytoplankton dynamics

Currently, there is very limited knowledge about the phytoplankton community and dynamics in the coastal region in the Faroe Islands. In recent years the Aquaculture Research Station of the Faroes has focused on gaining fundamental knowledge in this field and developing appropriate methods for continuous investigations. The focus is both on the phytoplankton community as a whole as well as special focus on harmful algae.

In 2021 a whole year sampling study was initiated in Kaldbaksfjord in the Faroe Islands. The fjord is currently under consideration as a site for shellfish farming. The project applies an integrated approach for studying the phytoplankton dynamics in the fjord using microscopy, flowcam and eDNA analyses. Sampling was performed from May 2021 until April 2022 every 10-14 days. Samples were taken at three depths (4m, 12m, 35m) at three sampling stations stretching from the inner fjord to the mouth of the fjord.

The sampling was performed in collaboration with other departments at Firum, performing other measurements simultanuously.

eDNA analysis will include all samples using primers targeting the 18S rRNA V8-9 region (Bradley et al. 2016), and sequencing will be performed using the MiSeq Illumina platform. Microscopy counts will focus on selected potentially harmful algae in all samples and samples from selected stations/depths will be counted fully. FlowCam analysis will be performed on those samples counted fully by microscopy for a complete comparison and integrated approach of the three methods.

The project runs until summer 2023.


Project participants:

Microscopy: Eirikur Danielsen, Aquaculture Research Station of the Faroes

FlowCam: Ian Salter, Faroe Marine Research Institute

eDNA: Ása Jacobsen, Aquaculture Research Station of the Faroes

Bioinformatics: Ása Johannesen/Ása Jacobsen, Aquaculture Research Station of the Faroes

Field and lab technician: Elin Jacobsen, Aquaculture Research Station of the Faroes


Contact: Ása Jacobsen