German Environment Agency
Description of the infrastructure: The Artificial Stream and Pond System (FSA) of the German Environment Agency (UBA) is a large and technically sophisticated experimental facility in Berlin. It comprises 8 outdoor and 8 indoor streams (100 m length, water volume of 40 m3 each), 8 outdoor and 8 indoor ponds (water volume of 60 m3 each) and associated equipment. In addition the facility comprises 18 small indoor ponds (water volume of 1 m3 each) and 8 small indoor stream channels (water volume of 2 m3 each). Special features that make the facility unique in Europe are it’s modular design (variable stream length, possibility to connect ponds and streams), an outdoor and indoor system and the ability to simulate flowing and stagnant waters. Further, the large size enables tests on all trophic levels including fish. The site offers water qualities from ground to waste water, and adjustment of variable flow velocities (0.02-0.5m/s). Additionally, there are options between riffle and pool sections in stream mesocosms, between terrestrial and littoral zone in pond mesocosms and the inclusion of pore-water sampling devices in ponds.
Each stream and pond is equipped with online instruments to continuously measure conductivity, O2, pH, water level, temperature, turbidity and, in streams, flow velocity. Computer controlled LED lightening (4 channels) is installed over the pond systems. Chemical variables such as contaminants, sediment and biota can be measured in the laboratory. FSA is well equipped with gas chromatograph-mass spectrometers (GC-MS), liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), HPLC, TOC analyser, automatic titration units, Ion Chromatograph (IC), continuous nutrient flow analyser, etc. In addition, light conditions in and above the water of streams and ponds, chlorophyll a and phaeopigments, and many other biological variables are routinely analysed. All experimental data are fed into a central data base for quality checks and analysis. The data entry from defined analysis protocols (e.g. physico-chemical data) is automated. The database user programme is independent of system software and is available on the internet.
Outdoor and indoor pond and stream system. The facility comprises 8 indoor and 8 outdoor ponds and streams, the latter of 1.6 km total length (indoor + outdoor). Water bodies are large enough to carry all trophic levels including fish
Control of light, temperature, flow velocity, wind, colonization of insects etc.,
Simulation of groundwater flow in semi-natural conditions (influent/effluent flow regime, remobilization of substances)
Ecotoxicological, ecological, and hydrological studies (fate and effects of pesticides, biocides, pharmaceuticals, or industrial chemicals in ponds or streams; fate of viruses in bathing waters; model verifications; vertical mass transport water/sediment;
Upcoming years: mixture toxicity of chemicals, degradation of plastics, passive sampling (chemicals)
Mohr et al. 2005 ESPR – Environ Sci & Pollut Res 12 (1)