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PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS: Automated Tools to Measure Primary Productivity in European Seas. A New Autonomous Monitoring Tool to Measure the Primary Production of Major European Seas


Project timeline
September 2009
36 months
August 2012
General Information
PROTOOL will develop and adapt sensor technologies to measure primary production of phytoplankton with automated optical techniques, so that they can be placed on ships of opportunity (SOOP, ferries, container ships). The complete PROTOOL Measuring Device will consist of (1) a fluorometer measuring the rate of photosynthesis (using the variable fluorescence approach), (2) an algal absorption meter and (3) a hyperspectral reflectance unit. It will measure key water quality parameters like chlorophyll a, suspended matter concentrations and the light attenuation coefficient. The design will be modular so that each unit can also be used separately. The different versions of the sensors and protocol modules will be tested in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the English-Channel and the Gulf of Biscay, as well as in a number of Dutch estuaries. The PROTOOL Measuring Device is unique because it is the first sensor technology that can measure autonomously biological process RATES and not only biological quantities (like chlorophyll concentration). It will provide detailed information on primary productivity which is a fundamental parameter in the carrying capacity of any ecosystem. With its technological development, PROTOOL will contribute to a much better assessment of changing marine ecosystems. PROTOOL partners will further promote the inclusion of primary production within the list of important biological properties to be considered for ecological status assessment in the future in the context of the Water Framework (WFD) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directives.
EU-Programme Acronym and Subprogramme AreaFP7-ENV-2008-
Project TypeSmall or Medium-scale Focused Research Project
Contract NumberGrant Agreement 226880
Co-ordinatorKoninklijke Nederlandse Akademie Van Wetenschappen - KNAW
Total Eligible Costs (€) Hereon Eligible Costs (€) EC Funding for Hereon (€)
Contact Person at Hereon Dr. Rüdiger Röttgers, Institute for Coastal Research, KOF Phone: +49 4152 87 1575 Fax : +49 4152 87 1596
E-mail contact
Worldwide Europe

Finnish Environment Institute SYKE (FI), Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen-KNAW (NL), Mikrobiologicky USTAV - AVCR, V.V.I. (CZ), NERC-Southampton Oceanography Centre (UK), PHOTON Systems Instruments SPOL SRO (CZ), The Secretary of State For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (UK), TRIOS Mess- und Datentechnik GmbH (DE), University of Essex (UK)
Last Update: 16. April 2021