[Coral-List] Input sought on instrument development

Charles Mazel mazel at psicorp.com
Wed Jan 30 16:49:37 EST 2013

Dear Coral Listers,

This note concerns an ongoing instrument development project and seeks input that will help guide our next steps. We have developed a prototype diver-operated instrument that measures coral metabolic properties (photosynthesis and respiration) in situ. Specifically, it isolates a defined volume of water over a portion of a coral head and measures O2, T, and pH during programmable light and dark cycles. The water volume is flowed across the coral surface to avoid boundary layer effects. The design allows for collection of subsamples from the sample volume for laboratory analysis of parameters that cannot be measured in situ. It also allows for introduction of additives (such as photosynthesis inhibitors) to the sample volume to perform experiments in situ. Application of the instrument is not restricted to corals, as it can be used to measure photosynthesis and/or respiration of any subject that can be situated in the sample volume. In comparison with a number of in situ respirometry instruments developed years ago by J. Porter, M. Patterson and others, boulder/massive head corals used with this instrument do not have to be broken off or detached from the substrate in order to be measured, and thus the same coral can be revisited year after year.

We are seeking input from the coral reef community to help guide the next stages of development and system validation. The long-term goal is for this to be an instrument that is available off the shelf for field research.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the instrument and providing us with some feedback please reply to me directly and not to the list as a whole. I will send you a short (about 3 page) description including photos and sample data, and along with that a brief questionnaire soliciting your thoughts as to important considerations for future development.

Thanks in advance,

Charles Mazel
Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810
tel: 978 738-8227
fax: 978 689-3232

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