Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Venice Gulf & Venice Lagoon, Adriatic Sea - OSD Pilot June 21st 2013 Study

Mini report from University of Padova, Italy (OSD Site 47 and Site 48) 
Tuesday, 9 July 2013

This OSD sampling was the first one for the Department of Biology here at the University of Padova. Having as a logistic base our hydrobiological station in Chioggia, in the southern part of the Venice Lagoon, we decided to sample two different sites. The first one was “Palude della Rosa” (OSD site 47), in the northern part of the lagoon, a shallow eutrophic salt marsh pond which is considered one of the best preserved remnant of the ancient lagoon ecosystem. The second one (OSD site 48) was located around 2 miles away from the coast in the Gulf of Venice.

We moved from the hydrobiological station at around 8:30 am (local time) in a sunny day and all the expedition took place in a quiet and pleasant sea. Since the dimension of our boat, all the filtering steps, both for sampling and chlorophyll measurement, were done by hand. As previously supposed, we were able to filter only a small volume of water for each site, ranging from 360 ml per filter in the lagoon to 600 ml per filter in the open sea. We are anyway confident that Jack at the Argonne National Laboratory will be able to extract enough DNA from the filters!

In less than 5 hours we were back to Chioggia, where Vito and Andrea, technicians of the hydrobiological station, took care of some metadata and, of course, of the boat. Instead, Fabio, Riccardo and myself, with the filters and the water for nutrient measurement preserved in dry ice, moved to Padova. It has to be noticed that nutrient and chlorophyll measurement will be performed by Dr. Chiara Facca from the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Venezia, which collaborates with us for metadata production.

See you at the next Ocean Sampling Day!!

Alessandro Vezzi, Coordinator of OSD Sites 47 and 48.

Palude della Rosa, OSD sampling site 47. Picture was taken from the boat while filtering, and shows a fishnet and behind it the Isle of Torcello.

Fabio (on the left) and Riccardo (on the right) while filtering water for chlorophyll and nutrients measurement.

The hydrobiological station of the Department of Biology, located in Chioggia.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Helgoland, North Sea - OSD Pilot June 21st 2013 Study

OSD sampling was performed for the third time at Helgoland in the North Sea, about 60 km off the estuaries of the Elbe and Weser rivers. Orginally, I (Anna Klindworth, OSD Coordinator, MPI-Bremen) was supposed to join the sampling campaign but due to challenging weather conditions it was impossible for me to reach the island in time. Luckily the crew and scientists from the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland (BAH) have a lot of experience with the rough sea and they were still able to sample despite the weather. In the meantime heavy rain caused a “flash flood” in the basement of the institute. This incident severely hampered the sampling effort as the necessary filtration equipment is stored downstairs. For a short while it was unsure whether they would be able take OSD samples at all, but Team Helgoland successfully overcome this problem as well. With combined team power they were able to pump the water out in time!

Despite the whole stress, OSD Site Coordinator Dr. Antje Wichels managed to filter the OSD samples and took the opportunity to test their new filtration construction for the first time. It has  been designed by  Dr. Gunnar Gerdts and built by in-house technicians for future large scale sampling campaigns using Sterivex filters. The construction worked well and it was possible to filter up to 6 samples at the same time, but it also revealed room for improvement. This clearly shows the benefit of a pilot study which gives us enough time to prepare and optimize protocols for the main OSD event.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Antje, Gunnar and Team Helgoland for their sampling effort despite all incidents. And also thanks to all other OSD participants for reporting and exchanging experience. Every habitat has its own conditions and your observations help us a lot to optimize the protocols.

Anna Klindworth

Samples from OSD pilot study summer 2013

Sampling Boat "Aade" from the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland. Photo has been taken when the sun was shining :)

Dr. Antje Wichels is testing the new construction for simultaneous Sterivex filtration