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Denitrification unit for the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence Ecosystem
Credit: Biodôme de Montréal

The Biodôme has five recreated ecosystems, laboratories and research equipment.

Ecosystems

The recreated ecosystems at the Biodôme allow researchers to study certain ecological processes and examine potential solutions for sustainable development, particularly animal behaviour.

Laboratories and equipment

Totalling 500 m², the laboratories are equipped with devices for soil, plant tissue and water analysis, including an ion chromatograph. Through collaboration with UQAM, the Biodôme has access to an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, CHN analyzer and other equipment. A water lab allows experimental work in aquariums.

The laboratories at the Biodôme conduct regular analyses of the ecoystems, monitor plant and animal health and co-operate in the institution's research work.

Water analysis laboratory

Here the water in the different basins is checked daily, using various physical and chemical parameters (pH, temperature, salinity, conductivity, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphorus, dissolved oxygen, chemical oxygen demand, redox potential) and biological criteria (bacterial flora).

Microbiology laboratory

The purpose of this laboratory is to verify the biological quality of water in the basins (coliforms, gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria) and consequently, the effectiveness of the ozonization, chlorination and ultraviolet sterilization systems. The coliforms count shows whether the water is contaminated by animal fecal matter, and serves as a good indicator of pathogenic organisms. Parasitological analyses and examinations to identify normal or pathogenic bacteria are also carried out on new animal arrivals, to prevent epidemics.

Soil analysis laboratory

Most of the work done here revolves around nitrogen analyses (NO3, NH4, microbial N), although the laboratory is also equipped to perform other analyses: pH, organic matter, phosphorus, cations (calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese) and organic carbon, the latter in co-operation with the labs at the Université du Québec à Montréal and McGill University.

Some devices used in our laboratories

  • Nikon Eclipse 600 research microscope with phase contrast and digital camera
  • High performance binocular lens
  • Titrino 702 SM titrator-pH meter
  • Ion chromatograph
  • Specific ion analyzers
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Horizontal electrophoresis
  • Thermolyne Amplitron I sequence amplifier
  • Transilluminator with camera
  • YSI model 32 conductimeter
  • Combustion oven
  • Deep Freeze (-80°C)
  • Turbidity meter
  • Digestion block
  • Precision scales
  • Ovens and autoclave
  • Ultrasound tank
  • IEC Multi RF refrigerated centrifuge

 

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