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

Lunz Mesocosm Infrastructure (LMI)

Legal name of organisation (short name)
WCL - WasserCluster Lunz
Country
Austria
Continent
Europe
Organisation address

1) WCL – WasserCluster Lunz
Dr. Carl Kupelwieser Promenade 5
A-3293 Lunz am See

2) Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG)
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)
Max-Emanuel-Straße 17
1180 Wien

Infrastructure (short name)
Lunz Mesocosm Infrastructure (LMI)
Infrastructure address

Lunz am See, 150 km southwest of Vienna, Austria

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

Description of the infrastructure: The Lunz Mesocosm Infrastructure (LMI) belongs to WasserCluster Lunz (WCL), an inter-university research centre of the University of Vienna, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) and the Danube University Krems. It includes 2 permanent land-based mesocosm systems: 40 mesocosms holding 320 L of water each are equipped with a special port to minimize sample contact in experiments targeting dispersal limitation; 24 additional mesocosms holding 400 L each and placed next to a cabin are equipped with a filling system filtering water. Both are equipped with computer-controlled heating and mixing systems. In addition, LMI comprises two experimental flume systems. The Benthic Flumes consist of 6 streamside channels (40 m long, 0.4 m wide) that are continuously fed with stream water. Basic hydraulic and sediment characteristics can be adjusted and solutes such as inorganic nutrients or DOM be added. The Hyporheic Flumes consist of 6 deep channels (5 m long, 0.5 m wide, 1 m deep) filled with gravel and fed with oligotrophic stream water in flow-through mode. Inlets and outlets at different depths (0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1 m) allow for gradually lowering and increasing water levels to study effects of intermittency on hyporheic communities and processes. 

Available infrastructure and instruments beyond the mesocosm facilities include 3 boats and 2 cars, several labs, including a radio-isotope lab (3H,14C), walk-in environmental chambers, elemental analyser coupled to isotope-ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS), GC-FID/MS for analysing fatty acids, HPLC, flow cytometer, total organic carbon (TOC) analyser, nutrient autoanalyser, bench spectrophotometer, fluorometer; PhytoPAM fluorometer, and dissecting, bright- field, inverted and epifluorescence microscopes. Field gear and instrumentation is also available including sampling gear, nets of various mesh sizes, water collection tubes. temperature sensors. Equipment and gear used in the Hyporheic Flumes include a fully automated discharge and water-temperature interface, data loggers, a flow velocity measurement system, a remote-controlled (IR) video system, electrofishing devices, sampling gear, tanks for hatching and maintaining fish, and more.

Experimental river flumes “Lunz flumes”, (left) and Hyporheic Flumes (right) at WCL, Austria
Two mesocosm systems at WasserCluster Lunz (WCL) in Lunz am See, Austria

 

Primary contact information (PI)

Robert Ptacnik

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Katrin Attermeyer

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Years of Mesocosm Experiments
1) 2012 - present 2) 2011 - present
Description of Facility

1A) WCL-Mesocosms-Ptacnik
40 land-based mesososms (320 L each); water pipes for aeration and mixing; exchangeable inner walls; app. 500 m from lake; local tab water suitable for experiments (not chlorinated)

1B) WCL-Mesocosms-Kainz
24 land-based mesososms (400 L each), temperatured controlled, aerated, temperature sensors, remote controlled

2A) HyTEC
consists of two large channels (40 m length, 6 m width) fed with nutrient-poor lake water taken at different depths to vary water temperature. Peak flows of up to 600 l/s are produced to mimic hydropeaking, thermopeaking or extreme floods.

Channel size and morphology (slopes, structures substratum, etc.) is alterable, flow can be controlled, various experiments with different biological elements (fish, benthic invertebrates, algae, etc.) can be conducted in parallel (smaller sub-flumes within each large one) short-time and long-time experiments can be done simultaneously

2B) EcoCatch Flumes

The EcoCatch flumes, also named the ‘Lunzer Rinnen’ consist of 6 streamside experimental flumes of 40m length in which replicated streams can be simulated. The flumes can be used in two operational modes, in flow-through mode with raw stream water to all flumes, or in recirculation mode, with separate recirculation for each flume. A fact-sheet can be found here.

Controlled Parameters

1A) WCL-Mesocosms-Ptacnik
Air flow; possibly shading; nutrient levels

1B) WCL-Mesocosms-Kainz
Temperature, air flow

2) HyTEC
Discharge, ramping rates of discharge, water temperature, substrate, channel morphology

 

Research Topics

1A) WCL-Mesocosms-Ptacnik
Role of dispersal for maintenance of diversity; diversity-functioning research in plankton communities

1B) WCL-Mesocosms-Kainz
Effects of temperature, heat waves, light, brownification on phytoplankton and zooplankton biodiversity and biochemical composition (elemental stoichiometry, fatty acids)

2A) HyTEC
Hydropeaking-related effects on various aquatic organism groups (juvenile fish, macroinvertebrates and development of benthic algae) and ecosystem processes such as litter decay, primary production

Effects of thermopeaking, analyses of multiple pressures (discharge, nutrients and temperature)
Fish protection and fish guidance efficiency (experiments with a flexible fish fence)

2B) EcoCatch Flumes
Discharge (0 to ~7,5 L/s per flume), flow velocity, water level, slope, bed structure/ sediment composition, biofilm age (often co-variable), light/shading, nutrient status, additions of nutrients, DOM, soil etc. possible. Potentially water temperature can also be modified.

Primary interests
Specialist areas
Photos of experiments/installations
1A) WCL-Mesocosms-Ptacnik: Land-based tanks at lake shore in Lunz
1B) WCL-Mesocosms-Kainz: Land-based tanks at lake shore in Lunz
2) HyTEC Facility: Aerial view
2) HyTEC Facility: Total view upstream direction
2A) HyTEC Facility; Aerial view of adaptation for fish guidance experiments
2B) EcoCatch Flumes, view from the header tank before adding sediment for an experiment.
Infrastructure (short name)
Lunz Mesocosm Infrastructure (LMI)
Modality of access

Modality of access under AQUACOSM: A total of at least 1040 person-days will be allocated to external users through AQUACOSM Transnational Access provision in years 2-4. Access to a minimum of 8 persons is offered for 40 person-days. The partly temperature-controlled mesocosms will be accessible year round during reserved time slots. Further details about Transnational Access provision at all facilities are described in WP1. Additional charges may apply to special services such as stable-isotope or HPLC analyses.

Support offered under AQUACOSM-plus: Users will have access to office and lab space, dormitories and other lodging facilities as well as equipment available at the WCL. Cooperation with local scientists is encouraged to take full advantage of their expertise and access to analytical instruments. Technical assistants at WCL will train all users prior to and during their research activities. Coordination meetings before each experiment will optimise the scientific outcome of all activities.

Unit of access
What service and support facilities are available

Services currently offered by the infrastructure: Users have access to mesocosms, office, lab space and the equipment described above. Modern guest rooms for up to 10 users are available. Ample additional lodging options exist. Additional facilities and instruments can be made available at the universities in Vienna (2 h drive). Users of LMI benefit from exceptional scientific experience of the local staff with aquatic mesocosm experiments, long-term data on Lake Lunz and the local streams (Lunzer Seebach), and expertise in freshwater biodiversity, aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry of the academic and technical WCL staff, which has pursued a highly active and international research programme since the opening of WCL in 2005.

Support offered under AQUACOSM: Users will have access to office and lab space, dormitories and other lodging facilities as well as equipment available at the WCL. Cooperation with local scientists is encouraged to take full advantage of their expertise and access to analytical instruments. Technical assistants at WCL will train all users prior to and during their research activities. Coordination meetings before each experiment will optimize the scientific outcome of all activities.

Support offered under AQUACOSM-plus: Users will have access to office and lab space, dormitories and other lodging facilities as well as equipment available at the WCL. Cooperation with local scientists is encouraged to take full advantage of their expertise and access to analytical instruments. Technical assistants at WCL will train all users prior to and during their research activities. Coordination meetings before each experiment will optimise the scientific outcome of all activities.

Accommodation

Some guestrooms at WasserCluster Lunz; numerous guesthouses in Lunz am See

Special rules