Hi Foldscope community! We are back for a second Foldscope post with some microvideography from the land of infinite wonder – the marine intertidal.
On a class trip to collect abundance data for California’s LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students) at Carmel Point, Carmel, CA, I collected some 50-milliliter water samples from the low- and mid-intertidal zones. What diversity! Phytoplankton, zooplankton and their close relatives the micronekton abound here. An example of a species straddling the line between planktonic (free-floating) and nektonic (swimming) organisms is this amphipod that I was lucky enough to scoop up (I mistakenly called him a copepod in the video).
Amphipods are miniature crustaceans, much like krill. They feature a segmented body but lack a large piece of shell towards the front of their body called a carapace. Download and check out the video below to see more!
Amphipods are usually detritivores, meaning that they eat dead and decomposing organisms like plankton and algae. Lucky for them, the rocky intertidal undergoes frequent disturbances from waves, storms and exposure, freeing up all kinds of organic matter for these guys to munch on.
Thank you for reading! Keep an eye out for more posts in the near future.