Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Description of the infrastructure: The CEH Aquatic Mesocosm Facility (CAMF) comprises 32 cylindrical insulated fibreglass outdoor mesocosms, each 1.0m deep and 2.0m in diameter (3000 l and 3 large fibreglass tanks 1.0m deep and 4.0m in diameter (12000 l) The latter are mainly used as storage reservoir for water and various freshwater species. The site was built in 2011 and is located 2 miles from the UKCEH office. Electric heating elements are placed in each mesocosm to allow for climate warming experiments. Temperature in warmed mesocosms can be increased by up to 5 °C above the ambient water temperatures, controlled by a custom computer program. To prevent thermal stratification, purpose-built mixers suspended in the middle of the mesocosm, can be moved slowly up and down through the water column and can be operated on different mixing regimes. All mesocosms are equipped with automatic sensors measuring temperature, dissolved oxygen and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) every 5 minutes. A weather station within the mesocosm compound measures wind speed and direction, precipitation, air temperature, barometric pressure and relative humidity. All data is logged at five-minute intervals and directly transferred to a server. The site has been used for various climate change experiments, focussing on multiple stressors, such as brownification, warming, eutrophication and extreme rainfall events on freshwater communities.
Equipment is housed in a laboratory on site available for storage, working space and sample preparation. There is tap water access as well as raw water supply from a nearby reservoir. Fully equipped laboratories (including a FlowCam and microscopes with image analysis systems) are available at UKCEH Lancaster, housing the UKCEH Centralised Analytical Chemistry Group, maintaining high standards of quality control and UKAS-accredited to ISO17025. Various multiprobes are available for fieldwork: DS5X, EXO2, AlgaeTorch.
Outdoor – pelagic/benthic – freshwater
32 cylindrical insulated fibreglass outdoor mesocosms, each 1.0 m deep and 2.0 m in diameter (3000 L) arranged in four rows with eight mesocosms in each and 3 fibreglass tanks 1.0 m deep and 4.0 m in diameter (12000 L). The site was built in 2011 and is located around 2 miles from the CEH office.
Depending on each individual experiment. So far:
- precipitation (flushing)
- organic carbon
The site has been used for various climate change experiments so far, focussing on the effect of
- brownification on freshwater communities
- multiple stressors
- extreme rainfall events.