Phytobs software

Software dedicated to the banking and counting of phytoplankton as well as the calculation of the IPLAC index.

The Phytobs software has been developed since 2009 to meet the need for a phytoplankton counting tool independent of commercial and cross-platform software (Windows, Linux and Mac OS) allowing the data banking. It is built around a database in MySQL and runs through an application developed in JAVA.

Since some versions, Phytobs can be run locally (on a PC) or networked on a server (for multi-user use) and its interface can be displayed in French, English or Spanish.

thus, the application constructed includes 3 modules:
– management of taxa and calculations of unitary biovolumes,
– counting under the microscope,
– index IPLAC calculation.

The Phytobs counting module allows the assisted input (by code use) of sample taxa records and  counting with 2 counting strategies per sample. Counts (number of cells or individuals per ml) and corresponding biovolumes (mm3/l) are automatically calculated and banked. Since version 3.2, the results are also presented in the form of a synthesis by algal groups (abundance, biovolume, relative biovolume and carbon contents) and specify the biovolume of potentially toxic cyanobacteria with the indication of the corresponding potential toxins.

The phytoplankton taxa management module includes taxonomically up-to-date denominations with the most common synonyms of all the algal groups encountered in phytoplankton samples (over 9800 denominations to date). Individual biovolumes can be calculated on existing taxa or new ones added by the user.

The IPLAC module of Phytobs allows the calculation of the Phytoplankton Lacustrine Index (Laplace-Treyture & Feret, 2016) [1] implemented for the assessment of the ecological status of water bodies in France.

Finally, all the data produced and banked can be exported in csv format: database type, free or according to the recommendations for the exchange of national data. The output of the IPLAC calculation also provides a summary pdf of the calculation of the index per water body.

Phytobs is interactive and open: released free under GNU GPL license, the code is accessible to developers who wish, to ensure the evolution, improvement and adaptation of this tool to a panel of uses and users as wide as possible.

[1] C. Laplace-Treyture, Thibaut Feret, 2016. Performance of the Phytoplankton Index for Lakes (IPLAC): A multimetric phytoplankton index to assess the ecological status of water bodies in France. Ecological Indicators. Vol 69, October 2016, Pages 686-698.

Download files
by clicking icons



PHYTOBS v3.2.3 Full Installation

MySQL software (essential to Phytobs). Download from the MySQL site the mysql-installer-community-8.0.xx.0.msi file (the one below)

Tool for counting, banking phytoplankton samples and calculating IPLAC (executable)

Installation instructions

html link



.exe (105 Mo)

.pdf (1.1 Mo)








July 2022 version  (corrected) of the phytoplankton counting tool: counting, biovolume calculation, data export and IPLAC calculation. More than 9800 taxa names with synonymy and potential cyanotoxins are provided



PHYTOBS v3.2.3 Update

Update of the counting tool from a version 3.x


Update instructions

.exe (20.8 Mo)

.pdf (208.8 Ko)





October 2022 update of  the phytoplankton counting tool including some corrections (toxinogenics, synonymies,…), support for MySQL version 8.0
PHYTOBS patch v3.1.1 to v3.1.2

Correction of the counting tool from version 3.1.1 to version 3.1.2.

.exe (24 Mo)



March 2019 patch allowing the passage of version 3.1.1 to version 3.1.2 (correction of Import/Export function)

Contact :
Christophe Laplace-Treyture Inrae Nouvelle Aquitaine Bordeaux, Cestas