Upgrades to Fluorometers for Measuring Feeding Rates of Bivalves
I am seeking New Hampshire Sea Grant development funds to cover costs for upgrading four portable fluorometers that are used to measure in situ feeding rates of oysters and other bivalves. These instruments, which were acquired at different times between 2000 and 2009, have been used on a variety of projects and have involved colleagues from several institutions. Data from these instruments have been used in four peer-reviewed publications. They have been the major tools I have used for over 10 years in my research on oyster feeding. Recently, however, they started having problems. I pursued several options for upgrades and have obtained an estimate from the manufacturer of approximately $400 for each fluorometer, but a firm estimate requires sending them for inspection. Thus, I am seeking a minimum of $1,600 and a maximum total of $2,500 to cover costs for fully upgrading all four fluorometers.
At this time, the fluorometers are only being used on a small project for which no funds are available for the requested upgrades. They will also be used on our upcoming Sea Grant project, but the upgrade costs are not in that budget because they started having problems after that proposal was submitted. If funded, the upgrades will allow us to complete the current project as well as our upcoming Sea Grant project. Together these projects should provide data sufficient for two publications dealing with oyster feeding and growth as well as the basis for additional research proposals. The anticipated publications will center around how oyster aquaculture gear type affects oyster feeding and growth, and the water filtration capacities of restored natural oyster reefs. I anticipate that both projects will lead to additional research proposals and funding.