EU network of mesocosms facilities for research on marine and freshwater ecosystems open for global collaboration.

SS38 Real world ecology landscapes – Up-scaling community ecology experiments in aquatic systems

23/02/2019 - 02/03/2019

Special Mesocosm-focussed session announcement to be held as part of ASLO 2019 in Puerto Rico.

Maria Stockenreiter, Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich (
Patrick Fink, University of Cologne (
Jens Christian Nejstgaard, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland (

Well controlled and highly replicated small-scale laboratory microcosm experiments have been used to relate changes in foodwebs to altered environments (e.g. biodiversity loss, nutrient inputs, climate change etc.). However, their realism is limited and the extrapolation to natural systems is often difficult. The need to minimize these problems has lead to development of experiments on larger scales. Large-scale mesocosm (or enclosure) experiments allow a more realistic setting by including a higher complexity in terms of diversity and trophic levels, and thus potential interactions on the community level. With mesocosm studies, it is possible to experimentally investigate ecosystems at a higher complexity, including several trophic levels, although the replication and control may be more limited compared to small-scale experiments. To support this development, this session will bring together researchers working on various scales in both benthic and pelagic, marine and freshwater environments, on questions related to e.g. biodiversity loss, trait based approaches, climate change etc., to yield a comprehensive overview of current efforts in up-scaling approaches to improve our understanding of changing aquatic ecosystems.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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