Oceanographic and Limnological Laboratory

Biological Oceanography is the science which studies marine organisms and their relation to the environment, and it includes the biological processes in the open waters of the ocean, far from the coast and beyond the continental platform (pelagic environment), the biological processes of the sea near the coast which covers the continental platform (neritic environment), the biological processes which occur on the surface of the sea floor (benthic environment) and the biological processes which occur over the marine floor (demersal environment). Limnology is the science which studies the continental aquatic ecosystems (lakes, lagoons, rivers, ponds, marshes and estuaries), as well as the interactions between the aquatic organisms and their environment, which determine their distribution and abundance in these ecosystems.

Our services include the execution of oceanographic and limnological samplings for the characterization of the physico-chemical, hydromorphological and biological parameters. We specialise in the appraisal of the effects of infrastructures and industries on the aquatic environment, both marine (marine wind farms, underwater outlet pipes, ports, extraction platforms, cultivation platforms, etc.) and freshwater (reservoirs/dams, water collection, industrial dumps, etc.), where the bionomic studies are the activities with the highest demand.

  • Characterization of the cyanobacteria and red tide proliferation, as well as the execution of ecotoxicity studies.
  • Pollution studies of water masses and analysis of the negative effects on the hydromorphological and physiochemical characteristics of the affected water masses as well as on the biological communities.
  • Establishment of protocols for the dumping control and sediment and water treatment techniques (decontamination, biological filter, bioremediation, etc.).
  • Monitoring programmes of populations and environmental follow-up of the activities to determine the long-term negative effects, sub-lethal effects, etc.
  • Environment and characterization studies of the existing biological communities to establish the reference conditions in a way prior to the action (ecological flow, water quality, etc.).

Specific material is available and the specialised analytical techniques are implanted.

  • Use of multiparametric sensors and CTD probes in the determination of the vertical profiles of temperature, salinity, isoclinal delimitation of the mixture zone, etc.
  • Use of dredgers, box-corers, nets, Niskin bottles, and other types of sampling equipment for the collection of water samples, sediment and different biological groups (zoobenthos, meiofauna, phytoplankton, zooplankton, icthyofauna).
  • Taxonomic determination of the samples of macroalgae, macroinvertebrates (zoobenthos), macrophytes, zooplankton, phytoplankton, phytobenthos, icthyofauna, marine mammals, etc.
  • Characterization of the communities of these biological groups including the quantification of the individuals, calculation of the biomasses or biovolumes, determination of the community structure indexes (wealth, abundance, diversity indexes), execution of the hierarchical arrangement analysis (CLUSTER, MDS, SIMPER, CCA, PCA, etc.).