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

MEDIMEER (MEDIterranean platform for Marine Ecosystem Experimental Research)

WARM PLANK – Effects of warming on the Mediterranean plankton food web functioning. Project lead: Behzad Mostajir. 03-24/04 2018 & 02-23/10 2018

Effect of increasing water temperature simulating global warming on the Mediterranean plankton food web functioning will be investigated using the pelagic in situ mesocosms of MEDIMEER in spring and fall 2018. In each of spring and fall mesocosm experiment approved Transnational Access users can participate. The applicants are encouraged to participate to both experiments; however this is not an obligation. A total of 252 person days can be allocated to external users involved AQUACOSM Transnational Access provision in 2018. We offer access to 10-12 persons for 20-25 days in 2018. The access cost offered by MEDIMEER is based on real cost calculation, which includes all needed preparatory work (before and at site), as well as specific training needed at the sites to complete the specific projects.

The spring experiment will be realized from April 03 2018 during 3 weeks depending on meteorological conditions. This experiment is part of the PHOTOPHYTO project funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR). It focuses on the effects of global warming on the timing of marine phytoplankton blooms taking into account the different interactions between biotic and abiotic components, specially the match/mismatch between predator/prey. The in situ mesocosms are immerged in the natural water column and therefore its water temperatures follow the natural water temperature variations during the day/night periods as well as during the several weeks of the experimentations. The water column of several mesocosms will be increased and maintained at +3°C relative to other in situ mesocosms which act as CONTROLS mesocosms (Vidussi et al. 2011).

In the spring experiment, the large majority of physicochemical parameters and biological ones such as abundances, biomasses of organisms and related processes (primary production, respiration, growth, grazing, etc.) will be investigated by the scientists involved in the PHOTOPHYTO consortium. However, as a TA, international scientists are welcome to participate to this experiment for specific topics such as viral ecology, parasitism, molecular diversity, metabolomics, biochemical composition of plankton, taxonomy of phytoplankton and zooplankton, prey/predator interactions (note that the dilution experiments are already scheduled). Master and PhD students are also welcome for training and they will be supervised by the local team. In addition, by collaborating with the local team, this experiment will be an occasion to test new ecological hypothesis regarding the warming effect on the marine plankton as well as new methods to study the plankton food web components or functioning like use of underwater camera to study larger plankton, or other underwater instruments like in situ Fast repetition fluorometer to study photosynthesis, etc. International scientists are encouraged to contact the local scientists for propositions (Please login or register to view contact information.).

As there are also some phytoplankton blooms in fall in the Mediterranean coastal water, the fall experiment with more or less a similar design and protocols will permit to study the effect of increased warming on the functioning of plankton food web in the fall after the transition of the hot Mediterranean summer. The fall experiment will be carried out from October 02 2018 during 3 weeks depending on meteorological conditions.

Vidussi F, Mostajir B et al. (2011). Effects of experimental warming and increased ultraviolet B radiation on the Mediterranean plankton food web. Limnology & Oceanography 56 (1): 206-218

MEDIMEER (MEDIterranean platform for Marine Ecosystem Experimental Research)
Legal name of organisation
Organisation address
2 Rue des Chantiers
34200, Sète

Primary contact information (PI)

Dr. Behzad Mostajir

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Years of Mesocosm Experiments
Since 2003
Description of Facility

Pelagic, marine, outdoor, in-situ

1. Permanent floating structure: up to 12 pelagic mesocosms (1.2 m diameter, 2 m depth, ~2 m3 volume each). Fig. 1 & 2

2. Permanent floating structure: 3. Indoor structure:

3. Mobile: LAMP is composed of 9 individual structures that can be deployed individually or bonded according to experimental design. Fig. 3

Controlled Parameters

CO2, pH, nutrients, plankton composition, temperature, light, salinity, turbulence, conductivity, chlorophyll a fluorescence and dissolved oxygen concentration. Some of The data are stored and transmit in real time

Research Topics

Plankton food web structure and functioning and their responses to global and local stressors.

Facility location(s)
Primary interests

Interactions between planktonic organisms and changes in structure and function of planktonic food web.

Specialist areas

Effects of warming, increase of ultraviolet-B radiation and pH on planktonic food web.

Source of Information
Photos of experiments/installations
Fig.1 Permanent floating structure (Photo- Dr. Behzad Mostajir)
Fig.2 Pelagic mesocosms (Photo- Dr. Behzad Mostajir)
Fig.3 LAMP in Dia Island, Crete (Photo: Dr. Behzad Mostajir)


Infrastructure (short name)
MEDIMEER (MEDIterranean platform for Marine Ecosystem Experimental Research)
Installation (short name)

Sète, France

Coordinates / (routes, areas if non-static)
Water / environmental conditions
Depths / bottom / surface

MEDIMEER is a unique platform on the French Mediterranean coast designed to run in-situ mesocosm experiments in coastal waters (Fig. 6.8.1). The facility with up to 12 pelagic mesocosms (1.2 m diameter, 2 m depth, ~2 m3 volume each) is moored in the Lagoon of Thau 20 km southwest of Montpellier, hosted by the Marine Station of Sète, which belongs to the University of Montpellier. The mesocosms are attached to pontoons, maintained by a floating structure made of stainless steel and moored in the lagoon to provide natural water-temperature and light conditions. Three mesocosms can be instrumented, enabling the acquisition of high-frequency data during experiments. Moreover, instruments for continuous measurements of temperature and solar irradiance are installed on the same pontoon.

Fig. 6.8.1. MEDIMEER pontoon and mesocosms moored in situ. Photos: B. Mostajir

Several laboratories of the University of Montpellier hosted at the Marine Station of Sète immediately adjacent to the mesocosm infrastructure are dedicated to participating in MEDIMEER experiments. They provide access to 2 wet laboratories (total area of 35 m ), 2 microbiological laboratories (total area of 35 m2), a chemical laboratory (15 m2), 4 other laboratories (total of 65 m2 for sample processing), a workshop (50 m ) and office space (20 m ).

Instruments / sensors / equipment

Available equipment and instruments include a spectrofluorimeter, a spectrophotometer with an integrating sphere, an oxygen titrator, an autoanalser for dissolved nutrients, a flow cytometer (FacsCalibur), an epifluorescence microscope, dissecting microsopes, and various benchtop instruments (peristaltic pumps, vacuum pumps, filtration sets, liquid nitrogen container, balances, incubators, drying ovens, cooled centrifuges, hoods, etc.)

Analytical platform, isotope laboratory, cold rooms, physical instrumentation (Conductivity, Temp, O2, pH), optical (fluorescence), biological (phytoplankton measures), biophysics (fluorimeter, spectrophotometer)

Modality of access
Unit of access
What is available and when
What service and support facilities are available

Services currently offered by the infrastructure: Users will get full access to the mesocosms, laboratories and equipment available in the laboratories participating in MEDIMER. The large water volume in the mesocosms permits intense and repeated sampling for several weeks and multiple users. High-frequency data from automatic sensor measurements made before and during experiments can be provided by collaborating with local teams. To date, a number of mesocosm experiments realized through nationally funded projects and Transnational Access provision during the MESOAQUA FP7 project, have already benefitted from MEDIMEER. Topics have ranged from bacteria to zooplankton responses to various aspects global environmental changes

Support offered under AQUACOSM: All users will be offered technical, logistic and scientific support before and during the experiments. This includes:

  •  Access to the MEDIMER mesocosms and associated materials for experimentation

  •  Access to temperature and solar irradiance data recorded by the weather station at the site

  •  Access to a range of laboratories in the Marine Station of Sète (see above)

  •  Standard lab equipment such as fridges, freezers, liquid N, bench-top hoods, autoclaves, distilled water

    and ultra-pure water

  •  Technical and logistic support and supervision for using the experimental facility

  •  Training on specific instruments by MEDIMEER technical staff and collaboration with local staff during sample and data analysis.

  • There are also a boat, aquaculture tanks, cold room, and possibility for animal collection by a diver.


Dormitories at the Marine Station of Sète   or possibility to rent the hotel rooms or a villa.

Special rules