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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2013, Article ID 401961, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/401961
Research Article

Fluorometer Controlled Apparatus Designed for Long-Duration Algal-Feeding Experiments and Environmental Effect Studies with Mussels

Marine Biological Research Centre, University of Southern Denmark, Hindsholmvej 11, 5300 Kerteminde, Denmark

Received 15 February 2013; Accepted 9 May 2013

Academic Editor: Norman Ying Shiu Woo

Copyright © 2013 Daniel Pleissner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Experimental feeding and growth studies on filter-feeding organisms often rely on constant algal concentrations maintained over extended periods of time. Here we present a fluorometer controlled apparatus (FCA) designed for feeding experiments with suspension-feeding mussels at naturally low chlorophyll concentrations above 0.5 µg L−1. The principle used is feedback regulation of the algal concentration based on continuous monitoring of the fluorescence intensity of chlorophyll in water pumped through the apparatus from an aquarium with mussels. The filtration rate is monitored continuously as the rate of change of measured volume of an algal stock added to the aquarium for keeping a constant algal concentration. As an example, the FCA has been used to study the filtration rates of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) at algal concentrations both near and above the incipient saturation level for reduced filtration activity. As another example to put the FCA into perspective as a reliable method for environmental effect studies, the apparatus has been used to demonstrate the acute effect of changing salinity on the filtration rate of M. edulis.