About Harmful Phytoplankton Project
This is a guide for identifying harmful marine dinoflagellates and diatoms (primarily from UK waters). The images in this guide are derived from two sources. Some were collected during routine ecological sampling at the Port Erin Marine Laboratory. Many others were provided by scientists from all over the world. We address ecologists who are unfamiliar with dinoflagellate and diatom taxonomy as well as students and amateur naturalists; we also hope to provide useful data for experts in the field. The guide focuses on Lugol's iodine fixed samples. Lugol's is a standard, relatively inexpensive, and safe method used for phytoplankton collection (Gifford & Caron 2000). In addition we will include photographs of calcofluor stained cells. This simple and inexpensive fluorescent stain allows the visualisation of the cellulose plate boundaries which are vital for the identification of many armoured dinoflagellates. Additionally, we provide data from taxonomic-morphological studies and from ecological studies. The combination of these data should make identification of at least some harmful phytoplankton possible. While much of the material in this site is derived from our own research, we also had a number of collaborators who contributed images, texts and last but not least time.