The main goal of the WP6 is to standardize strategies and processes for sampling, preserving and counting Ostreopsis cells in order to produce an international monitoring protocol. Specific studies and tests will be performed and the acquired experience will be shared between partners during intercalibration sessions.
For sampling strategy optimization, different techniques (using plastic bags, syringes or artificial substrates) will be compared during field sampling and the spatial variability of benthic Ostreopsis will be characterized. Furthermore, both benthic and planktonic Ostreopsis abundances will be monitored, in particular during daily variations. This monitoring will allow to define the optimal time for sampling and if both microalgal stocks need to be considered in monitoring activities. An optimization of preserving and counting techniques will rely on additional tests, using either different types of preservatives or different kinds of microscopic supplies. In particular, different volumes of counting chamber will be tested with different settling times. Finally, two international intercalibration sessions will be organized in order to compare results obtained from different sampling, preservation and counting strategies (including biomolecular techniques for species identification and quantification) and share experiences between partners.
This work will allow for the definition of common protocols, taking into account the different use of the coasts in the different countries involved in this project.