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

Iberian Pond Network (IPN)

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)

Miguel B. Araújo

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Gonçalo Camarinhas

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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