UiTM – A&A Laboratory has amassed knowledge & experience throughout the years in marine study. By demand from the market, especially the Oil & Gas sector, we are now poised to provide this service to the industry. At this juncture, we are providing the evaluation of the health of marine environments through these indicators:
The community of organisms that live on, or in the bottom (seafloor) of a water body is known as ‘benthos’
The benthic communities form an important link in the food web of the marine ecosystem. Bottom dwelling fishes and crustaceans feed mainly on the benthic organisms, hence it is one of the factor deciding the fishery potential of the water body. Macrobenthos are very suitable biological indicator tools due to their longer life span, visibility to the naked eye and sedentary nature. Macrobenthos also play a major role in aquatic food webs, are easily identified and well distributed. Many studies have shown that changes in benthos community have good correlations with the water quality changes.
Zooplanktons are the tiny animals that float around on the surface of the ocean and feed on the microscopic plants that make up the phytoplankton, or on each other.Zooplankton is found to be transferring biological production from phytoplankton to large organisms in the marine food web and to the sea floor. Most grazing on phytoplankton is carried out by microscopic protozoa, tunicates, copepods, and other crustaceas. These in turn become food for other animals further along the food web. Therefore, variability in the reproduction of copepods would affect the survival of young fish that depend on them. Depletion or changes in composition of zooplankton’s and phytoplankton’s diversity signifies deterioration of marine environmental health.
Phytoplankton are tiny photosynthetic organism that are the major producers of marine life. Phytoplankton are in a group because of the ecological role, or niche, that they play. They consist of plants, animals, archaea and bacteria. Three of the major types of phytoplankton include diatoms, dinoflagellates and microflagellates. Depletion or changes in composition of zooplankton’s and phytoplankton’s diversity signifies deterioration of marine environmental health.
Chlorophylls are complex molecules found in all photosynthetic plants, including phytoplankton. Chlorophyll, contained within the plant’s cells, allows the plant to utilize sunlight as part of their metabolism. There are several types of chlorophyll identified by slight differences in their molecular structure and constituents. These include chlorophyll a, b, c, and d. Chlorophyll-a is the principal photosynthetic pigment and is common to all phytoplankton. Chlorophyll-a can thus be used as a measure of phytoplankton biomass. Most phytoplankton are too small to be individually seen with the unaided eye. However, when present in high enough numbers, they may appear as a green discoloration of the water due to the presence of chlorophyll within their cells (although the actual color may vary with the species of phytoplankton present due to varying levels of chlorophyll or the presence of accessory pigments such as phycobiliproteins, xanthophylls, etc).
- Fish Identification
Coastal areas are ecologically important in fisheries as it provide a critical terrestrial and aquatic habitat which is important role as nursery and feeding areas for many coastal and oceanic aquatic species. 90% of the world’s fish production is dependent on coastal areas at their early stage of life cycle. Such coastal management is essential when it comes to our coastal waters to prevent environmental threats and also to protect our marine habitat and marine resources for a long run. Under our new scope of work, UiTM-A&A Laboratory offer service of identifying species, comparing and summarizing the marine diversity at monitoring station & reference station.
- Algae Analysis
UiTM-A&A Laboratory through its newly developing marine laboratory offer analytical services for algae, which are qualitative algal identification and also quantitative analysis. In the qualitative algal identification, all algae are identified up to lowest level where possible and are reported out as Dominant, Subdominant or Present (based on a visual estimation of biomass). For quantitative analysis, all algae observed are identified and enumerated. Their respective bio volumes are also determined and included in the report. The methods that we used for measurement of algae are numerical (cell counting) and by measuring Chlorophyll-a concentration