Oxygen microoptodes: a new tool for oxygen measurements in aquatic animal ecology
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We describe two applications of a recently introduced system for very precise, continuous measurement of water oxygen saturation. Oxygen microoptodes (based on the dynamic fluorescence quenching principle) with a tip diameter of ~50 µm, an eight-channel optode array, an intermittent flow system, and online data registration were used to perform two types of experiments. The metabolic activity of Antarctic invertebrates (sponges and scallops) was estimated in respiration experiments, and, secondly, oxygen saturation inside living sponge tissue was determined in different flow regimes. Even in long-term experiments (several days) no drift was detectable in between calibrations. Data obtained were in excellent correspondence with control measurements performed with a modified Winkler method. Antarctic invertebrates in our study showed low oxygen consumption rates, ranging from 0.03–0.19 cm3 O2 h–1 ind.–1. Oxygen saturation inside living sponge specimens was affected by flow regime and culturing conditions of sponges. Our results suggest that oxygen optodes are a reliable tool for oxygen measurements beyond the methodological limits of traditional methods.
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