InBio/CIBIO, University of Évora, Largo dos
Colegiais, 7000 Évora, Portugal
Iberian Peninsula with 2 sites in Portugal and 4 sites in Spain
Description of the infrastructure: The Iberian Pond Network (IPN) was established in 2014 to investigate ecological responses to climate change across bioclimatic regions. This innovative infrastructure includes a range of environments from semi-arid conditions to mountaintops. A total of 192 mesocosms, each 0.70 m deep and 1.85 m in diameter, are deployed across 6 regions on the Iberian Peninsula. Locations include semi-arid, Mediterranean, temperate and alpine environments. This distribution of sites along a climatic gradient over a large area is expected to provide insights into effects of climate change, biogeography, biotic interactions, biodiversity and ecosystem processes in pond food webs. At each location, 32 mesocosms with a volume of 1000 l each are located at ca. 3-5 m distance from one another. The mesocosms are equipped with an automated system controlling temperature and water level, thus enabling simulations of future climatic conditions. The mesocosms were set-up and initiated by adding 100 kg of locally collected topsoil, then filled with local water. All mesocosms have been left untouched until 2019 to allow establishment of aquatic food webs, but can from now on be used for a variety of climate change manipulations, which can take the form of warming experiments, space-for-time substitutions across the network, or a combination of both. In addition, the IPN can be used for studies addressing fundamental questions relating to spatial patterns of community composition and function at biogeographical scales. The mesocosms were originally established with funds from the European Structural Funds and are currently used in 6 research projects, the EC funded AQUACOSM project, 3 funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, the 2 others through the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Innovation and the UK National Environmental Research Council.
outdoor – pelagic/benthic – freshwater
192 mesocosms deployed across six regions. The mesocosms consist of 1000-L tanks that mimic small ponds. In each location, there are 32 mesocosms installed ca. 3-5 meters apart.
Water volume, temperature, chlorophyll, turbidity, pH, oxygen, methane.
Climate change, biogeography, biotic interactions, ecosystem functioning