INRAE – Aquapôle, Ibarron
Aquapôle St Pée-sur-Nivelle, Basque-Country, France.
Description of the infrastructure: LIFE-ECP is part of INRA, a multi-site infrastructure offering micro- meso- and macrocosms for the implementation of scientific programs focused on aquatic ecology. ECP facilities offer the opportunity to work with various sizes of artificial flowing-water mesocosms. They are located at two sites: at the INRA Aquapôle Campus and at Lapitxuri (15 km apart). The Aquapôle platform consists of an outdoor platform (60m2) for fish rearing equipped with 4 tanks (2.5 m3) and a series of circular tanks in multiple sizes (0.16m3, 0.5m3, 0.1m3). The indoor facilities consist of 4 experimental rooms, all equipped with independent temperature and light control, holding a series of circular flumes in various sizes (4-25 m3). Water (diverted from the nearby river Nivelle) velocity, substratum and depth can be controlled as well as flow direction to mimic tide. Indoor flumes can be connected to micro- respirometry devices, offering a total of 54 metabolic chambers of different sizes (4 cm3 to 4000 cm3).
The Lapitxuri semi-natural stream is fed by a diversion of two natural headwater streams. It consists into 12 consecutive reaches (10 x 2.8m) that are separated from each other by 2 downstream traps. Underwater rooms allow direct
observations through glass windows in two of these reaches. Under its basic arrangement the Lapitxuri semi-natural stream looks like a succession of riffle units with coarse and medium gravel substratum, 10-15 cm of water height and 12-17 cm s-1 water velocity. These parameters can be manipulated to create different habitats through changes in substratum quality and height, shelter additions, change in water height and/or flow input. At mid-distance, a flow diversion makes it possible to work with different flow values between the upstream and downstream part of the stream. The entire stream is protected from avian predation by nets and from unwanted fish entry by traps. The addition of a longitudinal division increases the number of pseudo-replicates to 24 reaches of 14 m2 each.
Tanks of different sizes fed in open-water allow to maintain fish under optimal conditions before and after experiments. A laboratory allows sampling, biometric or video-recording works. A wet room is dedicated to eggs, larvae or invertebrates rearing.
St Pée facilities offer the opportunity to work with various sizes of artificial flowing-water mesocosms.
The Lapitxuri semi-natural stream (15 km from the INRA St Pée Institute) is fed by a diversion of a natural headwater stream. It is separated into 13 consecutive reaches (10m x 2.8m) allowing it to work with pseudo-replicates (each reach can be closed by downstream traps). T). Direct underwater observations can be performed on two reaches from an underground room. More classical mesocosms are available: 16 swedish tanks (2.5 m3), 8 circular tanks (0.1 m3), 6 indoor flumes (4.5 m long), 8 outdoor flumes (11m x 0.5m).
At the INRA St Pée Institute, a large 25 m3 circular flume (fluvarium) consists in 2 longitudinal sections (10 m x 1 m) separated by upstream and downstream traps. Water velocity (controlled by a propeller), light (twilight period possible), temperature (air+water), substratum and depth can be controlled.
Two smaller circular devices (tidal aquaria) consist of a 400 L aquarium where flow direction changes alternatively. They are located in two similar rooms, where air and water temperature, as well as light are controlled. It is used to investigate swimming behavior in tidal zone under different conditions or as replicates.
An outdoor large basin (756 m²) can be used under lentic (maximum depth: 4 m) or lotic (maximum depth: 80 cm) experimental situations. More classical mesocosms are available: 4 swedish tanks (2.5 m3), 2 series of 8 circular tanks (0. 16 or 0.5 m3), 1 series of 16 tanks (0.1 m3), 6 indoor flumes (1.50 m long).
- water velocity
- physical habitat and stream morphology
- species compsition and individual characteristics
Evolution in Biodiversity under global change
Fish behavioral and physiological response to anthropogenic pressure (in particular for flow in context of climate change)
The LIFE Infrastructure is dedicated to the study of changes in freshwater ecosystems biodiversity with a primary interest in fish evolution and population dynamics. In this context, we also manipulate invertebrates, plants, mollusc, phyto and zooplankton. Major strengths of LIFE are its numerous facilities, the high expertise of its technical staff, and the possibility to perform experiments across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. The main objective of RI LIFE is to decipher the effects of multiple environmental forcings on individuals, populations or communities in order to inform management decisions for fish populations.
Behavioral and evolutionary ecology of fish
In addition, the direct connection of PEARL and ECP, with ESE (https://www6.rennes.inra.fr/ese/) and ECOBIOP (https://ecobiop.com/) research teams ensures access to additional analytical platforms (environmental and analytical chemistry, trophic and molecular biology), as well as expertise of a broad scientific community.
Research website: https://ecobiop.com/