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The Mesocosm Facility

Research infrastructure The Mesocosm Facility at Umeå Marine Sciences Centre is one of Europe's most modern. The mesocosms provide possibilities to conduct large scale water and sediment experiments under highly controlled conditions. The mesocosm facility is available for researchers from universities all over the world.

The indoor facility consists of 12 cylindrical mesocosms with water columns 4.86 m high and 0.73 m in diameter (volume approximately 2 m3).

The temperature can be controlled and manipulated in 3 different sections in each mesocosm. This allows for experiments which require temperature stratification, controlled convective stirring, or both. The temperature is computer controlled by sensors, which gives an accuracy of at least +/- 0.5º C from the selected temperature. A halocline can be created by addition of salt.

Technical specification

  • The water intake to the indoor mesocosms is situated 800 m off-shore at 2 and 8 meter depths. The mesocosms can also be filled with sea, lake or river water transported from elsewhere. Filling can be done through filters of selectable mesh sizes, down to 1 μm. A semi-automatic water renewal system with controllable turnover rate is also available.

  • The light source, Valoya R-258 (Light DNA), is developed to emulate the light spectrum of day light. The light sources can be controlled as for spectrum and intensity, and can be adjusted to latitude and time of day.
  • Four freezers are installed on top of every three mesocosms. This enables control of the air temperature above the water columns down to -20o C. Ice covering of the mesocosms is thereby possible, and parameters such as freezing or thawing rate can be adjusted. This option allows for systematic seeding experiments.

  • The ventilation of the mesocosm hall is controlled by the CO2 content in the room, allowing for natural controls in experiments where the CO2 content in the water is altered. A laboratory is situated directly adjacent to the top floor of the mesocosm hall.

  • The mesocosms as well as all pipes, valves and couplings are made of non toxic polyethylene.

  • Sampling can be done either through a fixed sampling outlets, by gravity or by Ruttner water samplers.

  • It is possible to transfer intact bottom sediment to the mesocosms. Sampling during experiments can be performed by a semiautomatic robot.

Outdoor mesocosms

The outdoor facility is available during summer. It consists of 4 large pools, each carrying 6 cubic mesocosms of 1 m3. The temperature in the pools is kept the same as in the water intake by using high rates of water flow.

Instruments/sensors/equipment

  • Two Seaguard CTD equipped with PAR, conductivity, temperature, turbidity, chlorophyll, oxygen, CDOM and pressure sensors.

  • Spectrophotometer

  • Spectrofluorometer

  • Scintillation counter

  • Basic laboratory equipment including salinity and pH meters.

Long time series of data

Through an internet-based database there is access to long time series of ecological variables, which can be used in designing experiments.

Field station surroundings

Through an easy available database on the Internet, there are access to long research time series of ecological variables, which can be used in designing experiments.

Scientific publications

Frontiers in Marine Science, Frontiers Media S.A. 2021, Vol. 8
Cabrerizo, Marco J.; Marañón, Emilio; Fernández-González, Cristina; et al.
Frontiers in Marine Science, Frontiers Media S.A. 2020, Vol. 7
Paczkowska, Joanna; Brugel, Sonia; Rowe, Owen; et al.
Hydrobiologia, Springer 2019, Vol. 837, (1) : 109-115
Båmstedt, Ulf
International Aquatic Research, Springer 2018, Vol. 10, (1) : 13-29
Båmstedt, Ulf; Larsson, Henrik
Hydrobiologia, Vol. 805, (1) : 131-146
Degerman, Rickard; Lefébure, Robert; Byström, Pär; et al.
Science Advances, American association for the advancement of science 2017, Vol. 3, (1)
Jonsson, Sofi; Andersson, Agneta; Nilsson, Mats B.; et al.
Marine Environmental Research, Elsevier 2017, Vol. 129 : 236-244
Meunier, Cédric L.; Liess, Antonia; Andersson, Agneta; et al.
Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol. 8
Traving, Sachia J.; Rowe, Owen; Jakobsen, Nina M.; et al.
Marine Ecology Progress Series, Oldendorf/Luhe: 2016, Vol. 561 : 17-29
Båmstedt, Ulf; Wikner, Johan
Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier 2015, Vol. 517, (1 June 2015) : 10-21
Ripszám, Mátyás; Gallampois, Christine; Berglund, Åsa; et al.
Marine Biology, Vol. 161, (7) : 1653-1666
Heuschele, Jan; Ceballos, Sara; Borg, Christian Marc Andersen; et al.
Nature Communications, Vol. 5 : 4624-
Jonsson, Sofi; Skyllberg, Ulf; Nilsson, Mats B.; et al.
Microbial Ecology, Springer 2014, Vol. 67, (1) : 83-95
Sjoqvist, C.; Kremp, A.; Lindehoff, Elin; et al.
Global Change Biology, John Wiley & Sons 2013, Vol. 19, (5) : 1358-1372
Lefebure, Robert; Degerman, Rickard; Andersson, Agneta; et al.

Marine Science at Umeå University

Please visit the following webpage to find information about ongoing research and available infrastructure within marine science: www.umu.se/en/marinescience

Contact

Henrik Larsson
Senior research engineer
E-mail
Email

More information

Mesocosms in research

A 2 minutes long film about the advantages of using the Umeå University Mesocosm Facility in research.

Chemical and biological analyses

At UMF a large number of chemical and biological analyses are performed.

Umeå Marine Sciences centre

Umeå Marine Sciences Centre supports marine research and environmental monitoring.