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Latin american journal of aquatic research

On-line version ISSN 0718-560X


MEDELLIN-MORA, Johanna  and  ESCRIBANO, Rubén. Automatic analysis of zooplankton using digitized images: state of the art and perspectives for Latin America. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res. [online]. 2013, vol.41, n.1, pp.1-28. ISSN 0718-560X.

The study of zooplankton communities is very important in the context of the biology, ecology, and conservation of the marine ecosystem. However, research on zooplankton implies a highly costly process in terms of time and effort, requiring trained personnel for identification, counting and measuring of various taxonomic groups, including biomass estimates. At present, there is an increasing interest for implementing new techniques allowing automatic analyses of zooplankton by means of informatics technology and assessment of digitized images. In this work, the state of the art of some methodologies applied to digital images of zooplankton is revised describing the general methods used, such as ZooScan-ZooProcess and Zoolmage, and an analysis of their results for identification, a comparison with traditional methods, and recommendations to improve the identification process. Additionally, a brief summary of the experiences with these systems is presented, focused on the analysis of spatial and temporal variability of the zooplankton community by means of its size spectrum and tests for deriving biomass estimates. Finally, a list of capacities and limitations of the methods is discussed using recent literature, as well as the perspectives of development and applications of this new technology can offer to the scientific community of the Latin American region.

Keywords : zooplankton; automatic identification; digital analysis; state of the art; Zoolmage; ZooScan.

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