Bathyphotometer bioluminescence potential measurements: A framework for characterizing flow agitators and predicting flow-stimulated bioluminescence intensity

TitleBathyphotometer bioluminescence potential measurements: A framework for characterizing flow agitators and predicting flow-stimulated bioluminescence intensity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLatz MI, Rohr J
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Date Published2013/07
ISBN Number0278-4343
Keywordsdinoflagellate; Lingulodinium; Pipe flow; Pyrocystis; Pyrodinium; turbulence

Bathyphotometer measurements of bioluminescence are used as a proxy for the abundance of luminescent organisms for studying population dynamics; the interaction of luminescent organisms with physical, chemical, and biological oceanographic processes; and spatial complexity especially in coastal areas. However, the usefulness of bioluminescence measurements has been limited by the inability to compare results from different bathyphotometer designs, or even the same bathyphotometer operating at different volume flow rates. The primary objective of this study was to compare measurements of stimulated bioluminescence of four species of cultured dinoflagellates, the most common source of bioluminescence in coastal waters, using two different bathyphotometer flow agitators as a function of bathyphotometer volume flow rate and dinoflagellate concentration. For both the NOSC and BIOLITE flow agitators and each species of dinoflagellate tested, there was a critical volume flow rate, above which average bioluminescence intensity, designated as bathyphotometer bioluminescence potential (BBP), remained relatively constant and scaled directly with dinoflagellate cell concentration. At supra-critical volume flow rates, the ratio of BIOLITE to NOSC BBP was nearly constant for the same species studied, but varied between species. The spatial pattern and residence time of flash trajectories within the NOSC flow agitator indicated the presence of dominant secondary recirculating flows, where most of the bioluminescence was detected. A secondary objective (appearing in the Appendix) was to study the feasibility of using NOSC BBP to scale flow-stimulated bioluminescence intensity across similar flow fields, where the contributing composition of luminescent species remained the same. Fully developed turbulent pipe flow was chosen because it is hydrodynamically well characterized. Average bioluminescence intensity in a 2.54-cm i.d. pipe was highly correlated with wall shear stress and BBP. This correlation, when further scaled by pipe diameter, effectively predicted bioluminescence intensity in fully developed turbulent flow in a 0.83-cm i.d. pipe. Determining similar correlations between other bathyphotometer flow agitators and flow fields will allow bioluminescence potential measurements to become a more powerful tool for the oceanographic community.

Short TitleCont Shelf Res
Integrated Research Themes: