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

Iberian Pond Network (IPN)

AQUACOSM-plus

1) Multi-site experiment on community and functional ecology experiments under climate change from semi-arid regions to mountain-top locations across the Iberian Peninsula.

The core purpose of our experiments is to improve understanding of the effects of climate change on aquatic food-webs from semi-arid regions to mountain-tops”. Ongoing treatments include climate tropicalization (warming with addition of water) and desertification (warming) in artificial ponds in 6 different locations across the Iberian Peninsula. All 192 ponds are monitored every Spring using standard procedures, including plankton nets, water chemistry and molecular techniques. 60 person-days

Project lead: Miguel Araújo

Timing: 01 April 31 July 2021

2) Open Time slot for TA applicants own experiment ideas from 01 April 2021 to 31 December 2021 

Deadline for TA application at UE is 26 February 2021, 13:00 CET.

 

AQUACOSM (call is closed)

Multi-site experiment on community and functional ecology experiments under climate change from semi-arid regions to mountain-top locations across the Iberian Peninsula.

Project lead: Miguel Matias and Miguel Araújo.

Timing: Mar-Jul 2021.

We are open for TA applicants to collaborate on our core experiment as well as in complementary ones. The experiment takes the full year so we would be able to receive successful TA applicants all year round (during the AQUACOSM until July 2021) contingent on the availability of human resources to accompany the research to the different locations. Preferred for visits: April to July 2021.

We are interested in hosting researchers with a variety of skills and approaches that can contribute to measuring changes in aquatic food webs. Skills/expertise include:

  • Food-web and network flow analysis, particularly researchers with access/funding isotopic and molecular analysis.
  • Taxonomic and trait determination of key groups: macroinvertebrates, zooplankton and phytoplankton.
  • In-situ spectrophotometric tools to determine phyto- or periphyton abundance/growth (e.g. BenthoTorch).
  • Carbon cycle and greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. CH4, CO2 emissions).
  • Litter decomposition measurements during wet and dry phase (terrestrial) of ponds including emission measurements.
  • Statistical analysis of community ecology data and modelling of food-web dynamics.
  • Theoretical ecology with emphasis on ecosystem and functional ecology as applied to aquatic systems.

Successful TA applicants  = TA-users:

A typical sampling team to go around all 6 locations would be 2 users + 2 host research team members. Users must be accompanied at all times particularly in remote locations. In principle, the optimum number of users at the same time would be 2.

Description of the experiment:

The core experiment is about improving understanding of the effects of environmental gradients, including climate change, on aquatic food-web composition, diversity, dynamics, nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration from semi-arid regions to mountain-tops”. Ongoing treatments include climate tropicalization (warming with the addition of water) and desertification (warming) in artificial ponds in 6 different locations across the Iberian Peninsula. All 192 ponds are monitored every Spring using standard procedures, including plankton nets, water chemistry and molecular techniques.

Multi-site climate change experiment (flooding, warming and drought) from semi-arid regions to mountain-top locations across the Iberian Peninsula.

Project lead: Miguel Matias and Miguel Araújo.

Timing: Jan-Oct 2020.

We are open for users to collaborate on our main experiment or complementary ones. The experiment is yearlong so in principle we would be able to receive users all year round (until Oct. 2020) contingent on the availability of human resources to accompany the research to the different locations. Preferred for visits: April to July.

We are interested in hosting researchers with a variety of skills and approaches that can contribute to measuring changes in aquatic foodwebs. Skills/expertise include:

  • Foodweb and network flow analysis, particularly researchers with access/funding isotopic and molecular analysis.
  • Taxonomic and trait determination of key groups: macroinvertebrates, zooplankton and phytoplankton.
  • In-situ spectrophotometric tools to determine phyto- or periphyton abundance/growth (e.g. BenthoTorch).
  • Carbon cycle and greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. CH4, CO2 emissions).
  • Litter decomposition measurements during wet and dry phase (terrestrial) of ponds including emission measurements.

TA-users:

A typical sampling team to go around all 6 locations would be 2 users + 2 host research team members. Users must be accompanied at all times particularly in remote locations. In principle, the optimum number of users at the same time would be 2.

Description of the experiment:

The main experiment is about “Testing the effects of climate change on aquatic food-webs from semi-arid regions to mountain-tops”. Ongoing treatments include flooding, warming and drying out ponds in 6 different locations across the Iberian Peninsula. All 192 ponds are monitored every Spring using standard procedures, including plankton nets, water chemistry and molecular techniques.

Multi-site climate change experiment (flooding, warming and drought) from semi-arid regions to mountain-top locations across the Iberian Peninsula. Project lead: Miguel Matias and Miguel Araújo. Jan-Dec 2019.

The Iberian Pond Network (IPN) is open to users to collaborate on the main experiment or complementary ones. The experiment is yearlong so in principle, we would be able to receive users all year round contingent on the availability of human resources to accompany the research to the different locations. Preferred for visits: April to July. We will remain “open” for business all year round but restrict stand-alone projects that require traveling to each of the 6 locations away from our sampling windows.

We are interested in hosting researchers with a variety of skills and approaches that can contribute to measuring changes in aquatic food-webs. Skills/expertise include:

  • Food-web and Network flow analysis, particularly researchers with access/funding isotopic and molecular analysis.
  • Taxonomic and trait determination of key groups: macroinvertebrates, zooplankton and phytoplankton.
  • In-situ spectrophotometric tools to determine phyto- or periphyton abundance/growth (e.g. BenthoTorch).
  • Carbon cycle and greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. CH4, CO2 emissions).
  • Litter decomposition measurements during wet and dry phase of ponds.

TA-Users: Typical sampling team to go around all 6 locations would be 2 users + 2 host research team members. Users must be accompanied at all times particularly in remote locations. In principle, the optimum number of users at the same time would be 2 with a minimum stay of 2 months. We foresee a total of 4 users during the Spring sampling period (April to end of July). Access during non-sampling periods is contingent on the availability of local researchers.

Description of the experiment: The main experiment is about “Testing the effects of climate change on aquatic food-webs from semi-arid regions to mountain-tops”. Ongoing treatments include flooding, warming and drying out ponds in 6 different locations across the Iberian Peninsula. All 192 ponds are monitored every spring using standard procedures, including plankton nets, water chemistry and molecular techniques.

Testing the effects of warming and drought on aquatic food-webs from deserts to mountain-tops. Project lead: Miguel Matias, Miguel B. Araújo. 01/01-31/12 2018

The Iberian Pond Network (IPN) is open for AQUACOSM TA approved users to collaborate on the main experiment in 2018 or complementary ones. The experiment is yearlong so we would be able to receive users all year round after arrangements. The main sampling season runs from April to July 2018.

A typical sampling team to go around all 6 locations would be 2 users + 1 host research team. Maximum at any given time would be 4 visiting users. Users must be accompanied by host team members at all times particularly in remote locations. At least 128 person-days will be allocated to external users in 2018, which will be integrated into the existing schedule of the IPN. 4 persons for 32 days is recommended to successfully conduct an experiment in the pond network.

Access to the facility will consist of visits to each of the 6 Iberian sites, for sampling and field measurements. Each visit involves a circuit of ca. 4000 km across the Iberian Peninsula. The circuit must be done by car because public transport to the typically remote locations where the mesocosms are installed is unavailable.

We are looking for people interested in modelling network flows using existing data. We would also be interested in hosting people working with stable isotopes, environmental DNA and greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. CH4, CO2).

Experiment: The main experiment is about “Testing the effects of warming and drought on aquatic food-webs from deserts to mountain-tops”. It involves warming and drying out ponds in 6 different locations across the Iberian Peninsula. All 192 ponds are monitored every spring using standard procedures, including plankton nets, water chemistry.

Legal name of organisation (short name)
InBio/CIBIO, University of Évora
Country
Portugal, Spain
Continent
Europe
Organisation address

InBio/CIBIO, University of Évora, Largo dos

Colegiais, 7000 Évora, Portugal

Infrastructure (short name)
Iberian Pond Network (IPN)
Infrastructure address

Iberian Peninsula with 2 sites in Portugal and 4 sites in Spain

Coordinates / (routes, areas if non-static)
Facility location(s)
Description of the Infrastructure

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.

Iberian Ponds Network is a multi-site infrastructure distributed across 6 locations spanning representative environmental gradients within Iberia: Arid, Mediterranean, Temperate and Alpine environments (left). Colours on the map represent temperature gradients across Iberia. Toledo (right).
Primary contact information (PI)

Prof. Miguel B. Araújo
Dr. Miguel Matias

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Years of Mesocosm Experiments
2014 to present
Description of Facility

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.

Controlled Parameters

Water volume, temperature, chlorophyll, turbidity, pH, oxygen, methane.

Research Topics

Climate change, biogeography, biotic interactions, ecosystem functioning

Primary interests
Specialist areas
Photos of experiments/installations
Distribution of mesocosm experimental sites in the Iberian Peninsula
Évora – Herdade da Mitra (Portugal)
Toledo – La Higueruela Experimental Farm (Spain)
Infrastructure (short name)
Iberian Pond Network (IPN)
Modality of access

Modality of access under AQUACOSM: A total of at least 384 person-days will be allocated to external users, which will be integrated into the existing schedule of the IPN. A minimum of 4 persons for 32 days is recommended to successfully conduct an experiment in the pond network. Access to the facility will consist of visits to each of the 6 Iberian sites, for sampling and field measurements. Each visit involves a circuit of ca. 4000 km across the Iberian Peninsula. The circuit must be done by car because public transport to the typically remote locations where the mesocosms are installed is unavailable.

Modality of access under AQUACOSM-plus: A total of at least 460 person-days will be allocated to external users, which will be integrated into the existing schedule of the IPN. A minimum of 10 persons for 64 days for one year is recommended to successfully conduct an experiment in the pond network. Access to the facility will consist of visits to each of the 6 Iberian sites, for sampling and field measurements. Each visit involves a circuit of ca. 4000 km across the Iberian Peninsula. The circuit must be done by car because public transport to the typically remote locations where the mesocosms are installed is unavailable.

Unit of access
What service and support facilities are available

Services currently offered by the infrastructure: Users get access to the replicated pond at each of the 6 locations that are well-maintained, controlled and currently monitored on a regular basis. Based on established data-use agreements, access to baseline data on water chemistry and species composition in the mesocosms is provided and in turn users complement information in the data base with their own data.

Support offered under AQUACOSM: All users supported through an AQUACOSM TA will have access to the mesocosms and associated facilities, equipment and data described above. Technical staff is available to support sampling and take users to the different sites where the mesocosms are installed. A fully equipped freshwater ecology lab is available at the University of Évora to analyse water, microbial, plant and macroinvertebrate samples.

Support offered under AQUACOSM-plus: All users supported through an AQUACOSM-plus TA will have access to the mesocosms and associated facilities, equipment and data described above. Technical staff is available to support sampling and take users to the different sites where the mesocosms are installed. A fully equipped freshwater ecology lab is available at the University of Évora to analyse water, microbial, plant and macroinvertebrate samples.

Accommodation
Special rules