Single Turnover Active Fluorometry (STAF) for measuring phytoplankton primary productivity (PhytoPP)


LabSTAF Is the next generation of STAF-based primary productivity instrumentation. The system incorporates unparalleled sensitivity with a wide dynamic range, allowing for measurements in all environments: from reservoirs and lakes to open ocean.




What is LabSTAF?

  • Monitoring phytoplankton primary productivity using the latest in STAF technology
  • Unparalleled sensitivity allowing measurements in extreme oligotrophic waters
  • Wide dynamic range providing reliable measurements from open ocean, coastal waters and lakes
  • Fully automated acquisition allows for continuous measurements without manual intervention
  • Compact and robust portable unit – ideal for deployment on research vessels and outdoor locations
  • Automated sample exchange and system cleaning for extended autonomous operation

Why LabSTAF?

  • Advanced corrections as standard:
    • Seven waveband excitation for spectral correction of photosynthetic measurements and assessment of community structure
    • Dual fluorescence waveband measurement to compensate for the reabsorption of chlorophyll fluorescence through the package effect
    • Baseline subtraction to exclude fluorescence signal from non-photosynthetic sources


  • Automated archiving so primary data are always secured
  • Real time data processing and presentation with a wide range viewing options
  • Flexible experimental design from manual control to complex fully automated acquisition set through the dedicated software, RunSTAF, running on the supplied Surface Go
  • Data extraction functions incorporated within RunSTAF provide easy access to extended primary data sets in csv format



Features & Applications


Technical Features

  • Integration of the absorption method for quantifying photosynthesis (Oxborough et al. 2012)
  • Seven measurement wavebands to allow for routine spectral correction based on variable fluorescence (Fv)
  • Dual narrow waveband fluorescence measurement, cantered at 685 nm and 730 nm, for automated package effect correction (Boatman et al. 2019)
  • Dual Single Turnover pulse method for the measurement of relaxation phase kinetics
  • Full spectrum blue-enhanced actinic illumination providing up to 2500 µmol photons m-2 s-1
  • Circulating water jacket for the sample chamber, which avoids intersection with optical paths
  • Potential replacement for 14C based photosynthetron measurements
  • Three acquisition modes: automated FLC, manual control and dark flow


  • Measurement of PSII photochemical flux per unit volume (JVPII) to provide an upper limit to PhytoPP at high spatiotemporal scales.
  • Quantitative assessment for the fundamental systems driving the global carbon cycle
  • Analysis of the biochemistry and ecology of aquatic systems
  • Verification of satellite data
  • Facilitates measurement at scales from mesoscale eddies to oceanic fronts
  • Climate change research and modelling
  • Monitoring of algal bloom development and community structure
  • Ecological monitoring to manage water catchments
  • Identify and mitigate sources affecting water quality in catchments