Data for: Underwater dual-magnification imaging for automated lake plankton monitoring

The Dual Scripps Plankton Camera (DSPC) is a new approach for automated in-situ monitoring of phyto- and zooplankton communities based on a dual magnification dark-field imaging microscope. Here, we present the DSPC and its associated image processing while evaluating its capabilities in i) detecting and characterizing plankton species of different size and taxonomic categories and ii) measuring their abundance in both laboratory and field applications. In the laboratory, body size and abundance estimates by the DSPC significantly and robustly scaled with measurements derived by microscopy. In the field, a DSPC installed permanently at 3 m depth in Lake Greifensee (Switzerland) delivered images of plankton individuals, colonies, and heterospecific aggregates at hourly timescales without disrupting natural arrangements of interacting organisms, their microenvironment or their behavior. The DSPC was able to track the dynamics of taxa, mostly at the genus level, in the size range between ∼10 μm to ∼ 1 cm, covering many components of the planktonic food web (including parasites and potentially toxic cyanobacteria). Comparing data from the field-deployed DSPC to traditional sampling and microscopy revealed a general overall agreement in estimates of plankton diversity and abundances. The most significant disagreements between traditional methods and the DSPC resided in the measurements of zooplankton community properties. Our data suggest that the DSPC is better equipped to study the dynamics and demography of heterogeneously distributed organisms such as zooplankton, because high temporal resolution and continuous sampling offer more information and less variability in taxa detection and quantification than traditional sampling. Time series collected by the DSPC depicted ecological succession patterns, algal bloom dynamics and diel fluctuations with a temporal frequency and morphological resolution that was never observed by traditional methods. Access to high frequency, reproducible and real-time data of a large spectrum of the planktonic ecosystem can expand our understanding of both applied and fundamental plankton ecology. Our work leads us to conclude that the utilization of the DSPC is robust for both research and water quality monitoring and suitable for stable long-term deployments.

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Data and Resources


This Data Package

Merz, E., Kozakiewicz, T., Reyes, M., Ebi, C., Isles, P., Baity-Jesi, M., et al. (2021). Data for: Underwater dual-magnification imaging for automated lake plankton monitoring (Version 1.0). Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology.

The associated article

Merz, E., Kozakiewicz, T., Reyes, M., Ebi, C., Isles, P., Baity-Jesi, M., et al. (2021). Underwater dual-magnification imaging for automated lake plankton monitoring. Water Research, 203, 117524.


Open Data Open Data
Long-term data Long-term data
  • Merz, Ewa
  • Kozakiewicz, Thea
  • Reyes, Marta
  • Ebi, Christian
  • Isles, Peter
  • Baity-Jesi, Marco
  • Roberts, Paul
  • Jaffe, Jules S.
  • Dennis, Stuart R.
  • Hardeman, Thomas
  • Stevens, Nelson
  • Lorimer, Tom
  • Pomati, Francesco
Keywords zooplankton,size,microscopy,classification,phytoplankton
  • chlorophyll_fluorescence
  • count
Taxa (scientific names)
  • ankyra ancora
  • ankyra lanceolata
  • ankyra sp.
  • aphanizomenon flos-aquae
  • aphanocapsa sp.
  • aphanothece sp.
  • askenasia sp.
  • asplachna sp.
  • asterionella formosa
  • aulacoseira
  • bicosoeca sp.
  • bitrichia sp.
  • bosmina
  • brachionus sp.
  • carteria sp.
  • ceratium hirundinella
  • chaoborus
  • chlamydocapsa planctonica
  • chlamydomonas sp.
  • chromulina sp.
  • chroococcus sp.
  • chroomonas sp.
  • chryptophyceae
  • chrysochromulina
  • closterium acutum
  • closterium acutum var. Variabile
  • coelastrum microporum
  • coelastrum reticulatum
  • coelosphaerium sp.
  • coleps sp.
  • conochilus sp.
  • cosmarium sp.
  • crucigenia
  • crucigeniella
  • cryptomonas
  • cyathomonas
  • cyclops
  • cyclotella comta
  • daphnia sp.
  • diaphanosoma
  • diatoma
  • didinium sp.
  • dinobryon bavaricum
  • dinoflagellates
  • dolichospermum sp.
  • dynobrion sp.
  • elakatothrix gelatinosa
  • epistylis sp.
  • erkenia sp.
  • eudiaptomus
  • eudorina
  • eutetramorus
  • filinia terminalis
  • fragilaria crotonensis
  • gastropus sp.
  • gomphonema
  • gonium sp.
  • gymnodinium helveticum
  • gymnodinium lantzschii
  • gyrosigma
  • halteria sp.
  • hormidium
  • hydra sp.
  • katablephris sp.
  • kellikotia sp.
  • kephyrion sp.
  • keratella cochlearis
  • keratella quadrata
  • lagerheimia
  • lagynophrya
  • leptodora kindtii
  • leptothrix echinata
  • leptothrix ochracea
  • lionotus
  • mallomonas acaroides
  • mallomonas akrokomos
  • merismopedia sp.
  • microcystis aeruginosa
  • microcystis sp.
  • microcystis wesenbergii
  • monoraphidium
  • navicula
  • nephrocytium
  • nitzschia
  • ochromonas sp.
  • oocystis marsoni
  • oocystis sp.
  • pandorina sp.
  • paradileptus sp.
  • pediastrum boryanum
  • pediastrum duplex
  • pediastrum simplex
  • pennate
  • peridinium aciculiferum
  • peridinium willei
  • phacotus lenticularis
  • phormidium
  • planktohtrix sp.
  • planktosphaeria galatinosa
  • polyarthra sp.
  • pseudoanabena sp.
  • pseudopedinella
  • raysiella sp.
  • rhodomonas lacustris
  • salpingoeca sp.
  • scenedesmus armatus
  • scenedesmus ellipticus
  • snowella lacrustris
  • sphaerocystis
  • spirulina sp.
  • stauratsrum sp.
  • stephanodiscus
  • strobilidium
  • strombidium viride
  • synchaeta sp.
  • synechococcus
  • synedra acus
  • synedra acus angustissima
  • synedra cyclopum
  • synedra sp.
  • tetrachlorella alterans
  • tetraedron minimum
  • tetraedron sp.
  • tintinnidium fluviatile
  • tintinnopsis lacustris
  • trichocerca sp.
  • ulothrix
  • uroglena
  • urothricha sp.
  • vorticella
  • willea irregluaris
  • woronichinia naegeliana
  • zygnematales
  • zygnemophyceae
Organisms (generic terms)
  • algae
  • carnivore
  • ciliate
  • cyanobacteria
  • diatom
  • dinoflagellate
  • gold algae
  • grazer
  • green algae
  • invertebrates
  • nauplia
  • phytoplankton
  • plankton
  • primary producer
  • rotifer
  • water flea
  • zooplankton
  • lake
  • 2018-01 TO 2020-12
Geographic Name(s)
  • Greifensee
Review Level domain specific
Curator Merz, Ewa
DOI 10.25678/0004BW