Taxonomic Analysis and More
In addition to being Canada’s only full-service aquatic taxonomy laboratory, Biologica can provide field support and assistance in reporting.
Biologica offers the premiere analyses of marine benthic invertebrate communities in Canada. Marine benthic communities are amazingly diverse, and our specialist taxonomists have over 125 years of accumulated experience in marine taxonomy alone.
Biologica has analyzed marine benthic samples from throughout British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, the Arctic, the Atlantic Coast of North America, as well as international locations such as Indonesia, New Caledonia, and the United Kingdom. We perform rigorous QA/QC on all of our samples and house both internally and externally-verified reference collections for the regions we serve.
For more information on the taxonomic analysis of marine benthic invertebrates, please consult our Organisms We Identify page.
Biologica offers taxonomic analysis of freshwater benthic invertebrate communities with guaranteed turnaround times by SFS-certified taxonomists. Our lab has over 20 years of experience processing freshwater benthos samples using protocols including CABIN, EEM, MMER and other custom protocols (e.g., BIBI assessment of municipal streams).
We have analyzed freshwater benthos from locations throughout British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, Western and Central Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario), and Northern Canada (Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories). We perform rigorous QA/QC on all of our samples and house both internally and externally-verified reference collections for the regions we serve.
For more information on the taxonomic analysis of freshwater benthic invertebrates, please consult our Organisms We Identify page.
Biologica offers taxonomic assessment of marine and freshwater phytoplankton and freshwater periphyton communities using state-of-the-art equipment and specialized taxonomists.
Biologica has analyzed marine and freshwater algae samples from throughout coastal and interior British Columbia, as well as the Canadian Arctic, prairies, and Great Lakes regions.
For more information on taxonomic analysis of algae, please consult our Organisms We Identify page.
Taxonomic assessment of zooplankton communities can provide vital information for assessing water quality as well as fish habitat and aquatic community health in general. Biologica has experts in the field of marine and freshwater zooplankton, and processes hundreds of samples of each per year.
Biologica processes zooplankton samples from marine and freshwater projects throughout Canada and around the world. Samples are analyzed under dissecting and compound microscope, depending on the size fraction. Biologica zooplankton taxonomists perform robust QA/QC checks on all projects in order to ensure data are of the highest quality.
For more information on taxonomic analysis of zooplankton, please consult our Organisms We Identify page.
Taxonomic assessment of ichthyoplankton (larval fish) assemblages is commonly used in research examining fish populations as well as other aspects of aquatic ecosystem health. Biologica’s expert taxonomists analyze hundreds of marine ichthyoplankton samples per year, collected from projects throughout Canada.
Ichthyoplankton samples are analyzed and enumerated using dissecting and compound microscope magnification. Biologica ichthyoplankton taxonomists perform robust QA/QC checks on all projects in order to ensure data are of the highest quality.
For more information on taxonomic analysis of ichthyoplankton, please consult our Organisms We Identify page.
Fish stomach contents analysis is the most common tool used to assess diet in fish communities. The ability to identify small invertebrates is vital to identifying the organisms found in fish stomachs. Being a full-service taxonomy lab, Biologica is able to divide fish stomach contents into functional groups for analysis by specialists, who are able to analyze stomachs from freshwater, marine and estuarine habitats.
Biologica typically assesses prey items consumed by fish originating in marine and freshwater environments throughout the Pacific Northwest, the Arctic, the British Columbia Interior, Northern British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Central Canada.
For more information on taxonomic analysis of fish stomachs, please consult our Organisms We Identify page.
Biologica can provide detailed biomass analysis for all the fauna we examine, including wet weight, dry weight, ash-free dry weight, and biovolume conversions. For larger fauna, we have high-precision balances (accurate to 0.01mg). Biovolume conversions for smaller fauna (e.g., algae and zooplankton) are done per-taxon based on standard or custom regressions.
Aquatic biomonitoring programs rely on high quality samples in order to generate high quality data. Biologica’s 25 years of experience in the field has allowed us to develop collection and preservation practices that maximize both the efficiency of analysis as well as species diversity.
Biologica can perform whole field projects from study design to report delivery, but more frequently provides the following services in support of biomonitoring projects:
- Equipment Rental
- On-site field support
- Preservative procurement and shipment
- Consumables (sample jars, coolers, etc.) supply
- Study design and sampling guidance
Biologica can also provide training for field staff to assist our clients in performing surveys of their own. Alternatively, Biologica provides of our clients with experienced field biologists to provide guidance, labour, and oversight in the field.
We have extensive experience with both hard and soft-bottom surveys, and have performed surveys and analyses of macroalgae and invertebrate faunal distributions.
Our clients typically integrate Biologica field technicians and field equipment into their field projects. We work alongside our clients, screening and preserving samples using protocols proven to reduce damage to organisms during collection.
Biologica has provided field support for biomonitoring projects including:
- Marine benthic invertebrate collections
- Marine phytoplankton collections
- Freshwater benthic invertebrate collections
- Freshwater zooplankton collections
- Freshwater phytoplankton collections
- Specialized collections for toxicity testing
- Biologica collects organisms for toxicity tests, including the marine amphipod Eohaustorias washingtonianus, and polychaete Boccardia pugettensis. Please inquire if you require testing requiring other aquatic organisms.
For more information on Biologica field services, please Contact us.
Data Analysis and Reporting
Biologica can provide additional support for aquatic biomonitoring projects through data interpretation, statistical data analysis, data visualization, and report writing.
Our staff are experts in multivariate statistical analysis of aquatic community data using statistics packages including R, Primer, Statistica, and Systat. Biologica can provide custom-built figures from data analyzed in-house or by our clients using software including Sigmaplot, Primer, Excel, and R.
Biologica produces reports examining data generated by all of our service areas, and tailors report formatting and focus to satisfy the specific regulatory demands of each project. Biologica has produced scientific reports for clients in support of regulatory requirements of various industries including mining, aquaculture, and energy.
For more information about regulatory and reporting requirements and the industries we serve please see our Projects and Sectors page.
Biologica offers community composition analysis from marine dive videos and photographs, which can be utilized as a stand-alone service or to complement other benthic analyses. Video and photograph analysis can be a useful analytic tool when there are areas that are unable to be sampled using typical benthic grab samplers, or when additional survey methods are needed.
With our expertise in taxonomic analysis of marine benthos we are uniquely qualified to identify organisms captured on video.
For more information on video analysis, please consult our FAQ page.
Need video or photographs analyzed? Please contact us!