AQUACOSM: Network of leading European Aquatic Mesocosm facilities connecting Mountains to Oceans from the Arctic to the Mediterranean
Rivers, lakes, estuaries and the open ocean are connected. Despite this, aquatic research is still divided in marine and freshwater sciences, with separate funding sources and experimental science is often conducted at single sites without international coordination. To challenge these problems, the H2020 AQUACOSM project expands the marine FP7 MESOAQUA project by coordinating research, developing common best practices, and opening both freshwater and marine large-scale research infrastructures (mesocosms) for international cross-discipline participation.
What is a mesocosm?
Mesocosms are the controlled and replicated experimental water enclosures, large enough (ranging from ca. 1 to 1000 m3) to allow experiments on whole ecosystems in close to natural conditions. Using such mesocosms is currently considered the most reliable way to predict effects of future environmental and anthropogenic pressures on the complex aquatic ecosystems.
Images: mesocosms (©Stibor)
Why is AQUACOSM needed?
- AQUACOSM brings togehter scientists from 18 leading aquatic mesocosm facilities around Europe
- AQUACOSM is the first project to specifically establish collaboration between freshwater and marine experimental sciences, to meet international environmental challenges of the 21st century
- AQUACOSM will develop common best practices for mesocosm experiments, state-of-the-art mesocosm technologies and sensors to allow direct comparisons of experimental results across facilities, environments and borders towards a global unterstanding of aquatic functioning
What are the goals of AQUACOSM?
- Integrate scattered know-how between freshwater and marine research mesocosm infrastructures
- Promote ground-breaking developments in mesocosm technology such as new high-frequency measurements and real-time data processing
- Train a new generation of scientists to conduct advanced collaborative experiments in mesocosms
- Offer researchers from around the world a chance to propose and test new scientific hypotheses at the world-leading European mesocosm facilities. AQUACOSM will offer Transnational Access to at least 340 persons for more than 11,500 person-days, to collaborate and exchange ideas between scientists, enterprises and decision makers
- Coordinate Joint Research Activities using the latest mesocosm technologies along geographical gradients from the Arctic to the Mediterranean and across salinity boundaries to investigate aquatic ecosystem responses to multiple environmental climate-related key stressors
How can YOU get involved?
AQUACOSM offers Transnational Access to at least 37 different sites or installations at 18 leading and highly complementary European mesocosm facilities. Ranging from the Sub-Arctic to the Mediterranean, from mountains to the lowlands, from estuaries to fully marine systems, and spanning from ultra-oligotrophic to hyper-eutrophic conditions, they represent a cross section of typical European aquatic ecosystems. For more information about funding opportunities, meetings and workshops visit: www.aquacosm.eu