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

National Experimental Platform in Aquatic Ecology (PLANAQUA)

AQUACOSM-plus

1. Effects of global changes on network architecture in spatially heterogeneous artificial lakes

The Experimental Lake Platform is available for collaboration on a long-term research project on the consequences of nutrient loading and loss of top predators on food-web structure and ecosystem functioning. Half of the 16 artificial lakes (750 m3 each) are regularly enriched with inorganic phosphorus and nitrogen to mimic possible water eutrophication. Height ponds are dominated by roach (Rutilus rutilus) and rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus), and the 8 other lakes contain perch populations (Perca fluviatilis), which can consume Cyprinids. The treatments (fish communities with or without Percids and nutrients added or not) form a 2 x 2 balanced factorial design with 4 replicates per treatment. The heterogeneity (littoral, pelagic and benthic habitats) and unusually large scale of these experimental systems recreate in this way real-size ecological communities with complex food webs.

During the first step of the project, research efforts mainly concerned the effects of treatments on the temporal variations and on the stability of the communities and ecosystems. We now enter into a second step, more orientated towards the analysis of the effects of global changes on the architecture of interaction networks, and on the life-history traits or functional traits of organisms within these interaction networks.

Approved Transnational Access users are encouraged to join this ongoing project. The approved users are welcome to participate to data analysis and interpretation. Master and PhD students are welcome for training and will be supervised by the local team.

Project Lead: Dr. Gérard LACROIX (PLANAQUA platform)

Timing:  1 April – 30 September 2021

Deadline for TA application at PLANAQUA (1) is 26 February 2021, 13:00 CET.

2. RESTORE / Freshwaters – Responses of freshwater plankton communities to terrestrial dissolved organic matter input and water temperature increase,/strong>

An experiment will be run at CEREEP-Ecotron IDF in 12 freshwater mesocosms in order to understand the interaction effects of warming and tDOM inputs on plankton community structure and ecosystem functioning (experiment lead: Dr. Florence HULOT). This project will be run in the frame of the French ANR national project entitled: “Microbial responses to terrestrial dissolved organic matter input in freshwater and marine ecosystems in a changing environment” (RESTORE, project lead: Prof. Fabien JOUX). A high temperature differential (∆ +5°C) will be applied between treatments because most lentic ecosystems are small and strongly respond to warming. Transnational Access applicants are encouraged to apply for joining this project with new, complementary topics, for instance the analysis of the interaction between the microbial loop and the classical food web.

Project Lead: Dr. Florence HULOT (UMR 8079, “Ecology, Systematics and Evolution” laboratory)

Timing: 1 June to 31 July 2021

Deadline for TA application at PLANAQUA (2) is 30 April 2021, 13:00 CET.

3. DEGRADASOUND – Response of freshwater invertebrate communities to the degradation of soundscapes

Occurrence of anthropogenic sounds in natural soundscapes are increasing worldwide. Although individual responses to noise pollution are well documented, consequences on communities and ecosystem processes remain largely unknown. In the mesocosms of the PLANAQUA platform, we will replicate a naturally-occurring freshwater invertebrate community gathering a mix of native and invasive species coming from various benthic (amphipods, isopods, dipteran larvae, coleopterans) and pelagic (cladocerans, copepods, ostracods, dipteran larvae) taxa. Living plants, biofilm and dead leaves will be provided as primary food sources. We will collect invertebrates from surrounding streams. All the mesocosms will be equipped with an underwater speaker to generate two noise conditions: control noise with a playback track of silence in half of the mesocosms and boat noise with a playback track including various boat sounds to mimic nautical traffic in the other half. During six weeks, we will monitor the amount of chlorophyll, nutrients, phyto and zooplankton as well as leaf-litter breakdown. In addition, we will use the carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios to detect alterations in the trophic structure and the relative contribution of primary food sources. The project is leaded by Vincent Médoc and Marilyn Beauchaud from the ENES lab (Université Jean Monnet – Saint-Etienne, CRNL INSERM CNRS), funded by the Université Jean-Monnet – Saint-Etienne and scheduled to start on September 2021. The project is open to collaborators interested in trophic ecology and the effect of noise pollution, with expertise on gut content and faeces analysis, fatty acid trophic biomarkers, trophic tracers or environmental DNA. People interested in microbial communities are also welcome.

Project Lead: Dr. Vincent Vincent Médoc and Marilyn Beauchaud (ENES lab – Université Jean Monnet – Saint-Etienne, CRNL INSERM CNRS),

Timing: 1 September to 16 October 2021

Deadline for TA application at PLANAQUA (3) is 30 April 2021, 13:00 CET.

 

AQUACOSM (call closed)

New insights on the links between global changes, community structure and ecosystem stability (ECOSTAB).

Project Lead: Elisa Thébault and Gérard Lacroix.

Timing: 1 April – 30 July 2021.

Project: The Experimental Lake Platform is available for collaboration on the on-going project (2018-2021) ECOSTAB, funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR). ECOSTAB aims to experimentally test the consequences of eutrophication and loss of top predators on food-web structure and stability of aquatic ecosystems in the experimental lakes of the PLANAQUA platform.

Since 2015, half of the 16 artificial lakes (750 m3 each) have been regularly enriched with inorganic phosphorous (KH2PO4) and nitrogen (NH4NO3) to mimic possible water eutrophication due to anthropogenic activity (urban sewage, agriculture, etc.) compared to natural conditions. In winter 2016-2017, different fish communities, with or without big predators (pikes), have been introduced in the lakes. During the winter 2018-2019, due to difficulties in maintaining pike in these artificial systems, we modified the protocol. We now have 8 ponds dominated by Cyprinids (mainly roach [Rutilus rutilus] and rudd [Scardinius erythrophthalmus]), and 8 ponds where Percids (perch [Perca fluviatilis]) can consume Cyprinids. The treatments (fish communities with or without Percids and nutrients added or not) form a 2 x 2 balanced factorial design with 4 replicates per treatment. The heterogeneity (littoral, pelagic and benthic habitats) and unusually large scale of these experimental systems recreate in this way real-size ecological communities with complex food webs.

The main objectives of the ongoing long-term project are:

(i)   To monitor the main abiotic and biotic parameters and climatic variables of the lakes at fine temporal scales in order to characterize the temporal dynamic community structure and the ecosystem processes.

(ii)  To analyse the effects of nutrient enrichment and top predator loss on the variability of different ecosystem properties (physical/chemical, community responses, and lake metabolism) at different time scales and on the food-web topological structure at different seasons.

(iii) To investigate the effects of nutrient enrichment and top-predator loss on the resistance and resilience of different ecosystem properties to extreme climate events.

These aims are attended through extensive sampling campaigns during the three years of the project:

– Daily (every 2 hours) in each lake, a set of automated sensors  record vertical profiles of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, depth pressure, pH, total chlorophyll and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). Moreover, high-frequency (every 5 min) measurements of oxygen concentration and temperature are performed at fixed position (70 cm depth) in each lake using automatic oxygen probes (HOBO U26 data loggers), for the estimation of ecosystem metabolism (primary production and respiration). A Campbell weather station automatically records (every 10 min) air temperature, air pressure, relative humidity, solar radiation, photosynthetically active radiation and rainfall of the platform. Four net radiometers and 4 anemometers, installed above the surface of 4 lakes, are connected to the weather station.

– Once a month until December 2020, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved nutrients (NO2, NO3, NH4+, N-tot, PO43-, P-tot, total Chlorophyll a, phytoplankton functional pigment groups, as well as seston and zooplankton biomasses are measured. Development of filamentous algae will be estimated through image analyses.

– Every 3 months, samples of phytoplankton, zooplankton and micro-zoobenthos have been collected for future identification to the lowest possible taxonomic level, measurement for body size and enumeration by microscopy. Macro-invertebrates have been sampled in the three main zones of lakes (lake sediment, littoral areas, and pelagic zones). Periphyton development and dominant pigment classes have been measured by fluorimetry.

– Macrophytes of the two littoral areas of each lake have been sampled once a year for determination and quantification.

– Fish populations are accurately estimated once a year using mark-recapture and removal methods.

Approved transnational users are encouraged to join this ongoing project with new, complementary topics. For instance:

– Analyses of the interactions between the microbial loop and the classical food web (this may be investigated by flow cytometry with the instrument available in the laboratories of the PLANAQUA platform);

– Relative importance of autotrophy and mixotrophy according to bottom-up and top-down control of communities;

– Analysis of the carbon transfer between the different biotic and abiotic compartments of the lakes (for example bottom-up and top-down control of exchanges between pelagic, benthic and littoral areas);

– Impact of changes of biotic conditions on the physicochemical characteristics of the lakes;

– Stoichiometric ecology;

– Evolution of the life history traits of organisms.

The approved users are welcome to participate to data analysis and interpretation. Master and PhD students are welcome for training and will be supervised by the local team.

Open time slot for new experiments in PLANAQUA outdoor facilities:

We open our mesocosm facility for new projects (except for the wave beaters mesocosms which are at present under maintenance):

Two artificial reservoirs (stocking and drainage lakes, 126 m x 15 m x 3 m deep, 4000 m3) are open all year round to new experiments that do not imply chemical manipulation of the water. Researchers can also use in-water polyethylene enclosures (up to 2.5-m depth) suspended to a pontoon installed on the stocking lake. Number and size of enclosures are dependent upon the research project and might vary from 16 (V: 22.5 m3) to 450 (V 0.6 m3) enclosures (to be custom-built by a local craft company). However, we will favour as much as possible the use of lower-cost standard enclosures (V: 5.5 m3), stocked in large quantities and always available at the platform. Up to 64 standard enclosures can be installed and sampled in parallel on the pontoon.

A large number of outdoor mesocosms (more than 60 tanks) different in volumes (from less than 1 m3 to 15 m3), numbers and shapes are available all year round to develop new studies on stagnant water ecosystems biology and dynamics with a high degree of repetition.

Under AQUACOSM TA the platforms will be available from April to July 2021 (frost-free season).

Transnational Access to users:

A total of 154 person days can be allocated to external users involved AQUACOSM Transnational Access provision in 2021. We offer access to about 5 persons for 30 days in 2021. The access cost offered by PLANAQUA includes all needed preparatory work (before and at site), as well as specific training needed at the sites to complete the specific projects. International scientists are encouraged to contact the local scientists for propositions (planaqua@bio.ens.psl.eu, sarah.fiorini@bio.ens.psl.eu).

12.1 Experiment at PLANAQUA Experimental Lake Platform

The Experimental Lake Platform is available year round for collaboration on an on-going project (2018-2021), titled “New insights on the links between global changes, community structure and ecosystem stability (ECOSTAB)”funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) leaded by Dr. Elisa Thébault and Dr. Gérard Lacroix.

ECOSTAB aims to experimentally test the consequences of eutrophication and loss of top predators on food-web structure and stability of aquatic ecosystems in the experimental lakes of the PLANAQUA platform.

Since 2015, half of the 16 artificial lakes (750 m3 each) have been regularly enriched with inorganic phosphorous (KH2PO4) and nitrogen (NH4NO3) to mimic possible water eutrophication due to anthropogenic activity (urban sewage, agriculture, etc.) compared to natural conditions. In winter 2016-2017, different fish communities, with or without big predators (pikes), have been introduced in the lakes. During the winter 2018-2019, due to difficulties in maintaining pike in these artificial systems, we modified the protocol. We now have 8 ponds dominated by Cyprinids (mainly roach [Rutilus rutilus] and rudd [Scardinius erythrophthalmus]), and 8 ponds where Percids (perch [Perca fluviatilis]) can consume Cyprinids. The treatments (fish communities with or without Percids and nutrients added or not) form a 2 x 2 balanced factorial design with 4 replicates per treatment. The heterogeneity (littoral, pelagic and benthic habitats) and unusually large scale of these experimental systems recreate in this way real-size ecological communities with complex food webs. 

The main objectives of the ongoing long-term project are:

(i) To monitor the main abiotic and biotic parameters and climatic variables of the lakes at fine temporal scales in order to characterize the temporal dynamic community structure and the ecosystem processes.

(ii) To analyse the effects of nutrient enrichment and top predator loss on the variability of different ecosystem properties (physical/chemical, community responses, and lake metabolism) at different time scales and on the food-web topological structure at different seasons.

(iii) To investigate the effects of nutrient enrichment and top-predator loss on the resistance and resilience of different ecosystem properties to extreme climate events.

These aims will be attended through extensive sampling campaigns during the three years of the project:

– Daily (every 2 hours) in each lake, a set of automated sensors will record vertical profiles of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, depth pressure, pH, total chlorophyll and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). Moreover, high-frequency (every 5 min) measurements of oxygen concentration and temperature will be performed at fixed position (70 cm depth) in each lake using automatic oxygen probes (HOBO U26 data loggers), for the estimation of ecosystem metabolism (primary production and respiration). A Campbell weather station automatically records (every 10 min) air temperature, air pressure, relative humidity, solar radiation, photosynthetically active radiation and rainfall of the platform. Four net radiometers and 4 anemometers, installed above the surface of 4 lakes, are connected to the weather station.

– Once a month, we will measure total alkalinity, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved nutrients (NO2, NO3, NH4+, N-tot, PO43-, P-tot, total Chlorophyll a, phytoplankton functional pigment groups, as well as seston and zooplankton biomasses. Development of filamentous algae will be estimated through image analyses.

– Every 3 months, samples of phytoplankton, zooplankton and micro-zoobenthos will be identified to the lowest possible taxonomic level, measured for body size and enumerated by microscopy. Macro-invertebrates will be sampled in the three main zones of lakes (lake sediment, littoral areas, and pelagic zones). Periphyton development and dominant pigment classes will be measured by fluorimetry.

– Macrophytes of the two littoral areas of each lake will be determined and quantified once a year. 

– Fish populations will be accurately estimated once a year using mark-recapture and removal methods.

Approved transnational users are encouraged to join this ongoing project with new, complementary topics. For instance:

– Analyses of the interactions between the microbial loop and the classical food web (this may be investigated by flow cytometry with the instrument available in the laboratories of the PLANAQUA platform);

– Relative importance of autotrophy and mixotrophy according to bottom-up and top-down control of communities;

– Analysis of the carbon transfer between the different biotic and abiotic compartments of the lakes (for example bottom-up and top-down control of exchanges between pelagic, benthic and littoral areas);

– Impact of changes of biotic conditions on the physicochemical characteristics of the lakes;

– Stoichiometric ecology;

– Evolution of the life history traits of organisms.

The approved users are welcome to participate to sampling campaigns as well as to data analysis and interpretation. Master and PhD students are welcome for training and will be supervised by the local team.

12.2 Experiment at PLANAQUA Outdoor facility

The Evo and the Eco: Genetic architecture underlying rapid adaptation and its effects on the ecosystem – TE&E

Three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) constitute a model organism, widely studied for its rapid adaptive radiation divergence and parallel evolution from marine ecosystems to freshwater ones after the last glacial age. Furthermore, attention has been called beyond evolutionary studies, due to a rapid increase in the fish populations of this species in the Baltic Sea and the Upper Lake Constance. Major ecological effects of this rapid increase have been reported on fish communities of freshwater ecosystems. Hence, it has been suggested that the rapid evolutionary adaptation of this species can lead to rapid changes in ecological processes in short time periods (ecological time scales vs. evolutionary time scales).

Juan Camilo Cubillos Moreno, PhD student in the Ecological Genomics Research Group of the Institute of Biology and Environmental Sciences (Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany), is currently studying the adaptive divergences and the eco-evolutionary feedbacks of populations of three-spined stickleback. In collaboration with the PLANAQUA team, he will be involved in 2020 in a mesocosm experiment designed for evaluating the ecological divergences of three ecotypes (one adapted to saltwaters, one adapted to freshwaters, and their conspecific hybrid), their competitive interactions, and their indirect feedbacks on ecosystem functioning. Nine fish treatments (different combinations of the 3 ecotypes) will be analysed in 5-m3 polyethylene enclosures containing two contrasted communities of zooplankton, in triplicates (total of 54 enclosures). Measurements will concern not only the responses of fish individuals to treatments, but also their indirect effects on community structure and ecosystem functioning. The experiment will be conducted in June and July 2020.

Transnational users are encouraged to join this project in particular on topics associated to the responses of abiotic factors, phytoplankton and zooplankton. The approved users are welcome to participate to the sampling campaigns associated to this experiment as well as to data analysis and interpretation. Master and PhD students are welcome for training and will be supervised by the local team.

Transnational Access to users:

A total of 175 person days can be allocated to external users involved AQUACOSM Transnational Access provision in 2020. We offer access to about 6 persons for 30 days in 2020. The access cost offered by PLANAQUA includes all needed preparatory work (before and at site), as well as specific training needed at the sites to complete the specific projects. International scientists are encouraged to contact the local scientists for propositions (planaqua@biologie.ens.frsarah.fiorini@ens.fr).

The Experimental Lake Platform is available year round for collaboration on an on-going project (2018-2021), titled “New insights on the links between global changes, community structure and ecosystem stability (ECOSTAB)” funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) leaded by Dr. Elisa Thébault and Dr. Gérard Lacroix.

ECOSTAB aims to experimentally test the consequences of eutrophication and loss of top predators on food-web structure and stability of aquatic ecosystems in the experimental lakes of the PLANAQUA platform.

Since 2015, half of the 16 artificial lakes (750 m3 each) have been regularly enriched with inorganic phosphorous (KH2PO4) and nitrogen (NH4NO3) to mimic possible water eutrophication due to anthropogenic activity (urban sewage, agriculture, industry., etc.) compared to natural oligotrophic conditions. In winter 2017, different fish communities of several species with or without big predators (pikes) have been introduced in the lakes in a four-factorial set-up crossed with the nutrient manipulation. The heterogeneity (littoral, pelagic and benthic habitats) and unusually large scale of these experimental systems recreate in this way real-size ecological communities with complex food webs.

The main objectives of the ongoing project are:

(i) monitor the main abiotic and biotic parameters and climatic variables of the lakes at fine temporal scales in order to characterize the temporal dynamic community structure and the ecosystem processes.

(ii) Analyse the effects of nutrient enrichment and top predator loss on the variability of different ecosystem properties (physical/chemical, community responses, and lake metabolism) at different time scales and on the food web topological structure at different seasons.

(iii) Investigate the effects of nutrient enrichment and top predator loss on the resistance and resilience of different ecosystem properties to extreme climate events.

These aims will be attended through extensive sampling campaigns during the three years of the project:

Every 3 months samples of phytoplankton, zooplankton and micro-zoo-benthos will be identified to the lowest possible taxonomic level, measured for body size and enumerated by microscopy.

Macro-invertebrates will be sampled in the three main zones of lakes (lake sediment, littoral areas, and pelagic zones).

Periphyton development and dominant pigment classes will be measured by fluorimetry.

Fish populations will be accurately estimated using mark-recapture and removal methods.

Once a month, we will measure total alkalinity, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved O2, dissolved nutrients: NO2, NO3, NH4+, PO43-, N-tot, P-tot, total Chlorophyll a and cyanobacteria, phytoplankton functional pigment groups as well as zooplankton biomass.

Daily (every 2 hours) in each lake a set of automated sensors will record vertical profiles of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, depth pressure, pH, total chlorophyll and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). A Campbell weather station automatically records (every 10 min) air temperature, air pressure, relative humidity, solar radiation, photosynthetically active radiation and rainfall of the platform. Four net radiometers and 4 anemometers, installed above the surface of 4 lakes, are connected to the weather station.

Approved transnational users are encouraged to join this ongoing project with new, complementary topics. For instance:

– Migrations of zooplankton or macro-invertebrates in the experimental lakes.

– Analyses of the interactions between the microbial loop and the classical food web (this may be investigated by flow cytometry with the instrument available in the laboratories of the PLANAQUA platform).

– Relative importance of autotrophy and mixotrophy according to bottom-up and top-down control of communities.

– Analysis of the carbon transfer between the different biotic and abiotic compartments of the lakes (for example bottom-up and top-down control of exchanges between pelagic, benthic and littoral areas).

– Impact of changes of biotic conditions on the physicochemical characteristics of the lakes.

– Stoichiometric ecology.

– Evolution of the life history traits of organisms.

– Role of macrophytes on ecosystem functioning.

The approved users are welcome to participate to sampling campaigns as well as to data analysis and interpretation. Master and PhD students are welcome for training and will be supervised by the local team.

Open time slot for new experiments in PLANAQUA outdoor facilities:

Two artificial reservoirs (stocking and drainage lakes, 126 m x 15 m x 3 m deep, 4000 m3) are open all year round to new experiments that don’t imply chemical manipulation of the water.

A large number of outdoor mesocosms (more than 60 tanks) different in volume, number and shape are available all year round to develop new studies on stagnant water ecosystems biology and dynamics with a high degree of repetition. Colleagues are also welcome to submit new projects using the series of 12 mesocosms equipped with wave beaters, which are especially thought to investigate the effects of mixing on pelagic and benthic ecosystems. They will be available from June to November 2019 (frost-free season). 

Researchers can also use in-water mesocoms suspended to a pontoon installed on the stocking lake. Number and size of enclosures are dependent upon the research project and might vary from 16 (V: 22.5 m3) to 450 (V 0.6 m3) enclosures.

Transnational Access to users: A total of 150 person days can be allocated to external users involved AQUACOSM Transnational Access provision in 2019. We offer access to 5 persons for 30 days in 2019. The access cost offered by PLANAQUA includes all needed preparatory work (before and at site), as well as specific training needed at the sites to complete the specific projects. International scientists are encouraged to contact the local scientists for propositions (planaqua@biologie.ens.fr, sarah.fiorini@ens.fr).

Project 1) The Experimental Lake Platform is available year round for collaboration on an on-going project (2018-2021), titled “New insights on the links between global changes, community structure and ecosystem stability (ECOSTAB)” funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) leaded by Dr. Elisa Thebault and Dr. Gérard Lacroix. ECOSTAB aims to experimentally test the consequences of eutrophication and loss of top predators on food-web structure and stability of aquatic ecosystems in the experimental lakes of the PLANAQUA platform.

Since 2015, half of the 16 artificial lakes (750 m3 each) have been regularly enriched with inorganic phosphorous (KH2PO4) to mimic possible water eutrophication due to anthropogenic activity (urban sewage, agriculture, industry., etc.) compared to natural oligotrophic conditions. In winter 2017, different fish communities of several species with or without big predators (pikes) have been introduced in the lakes in a four-factorial set-up crossed with the nutrient manipulation. The heterogeneity (littoral, pelagic and benthic habitats) and unusually large scale of these experimental systems recreate in this way real-size ecological communities with complex food webs.

The main objectives of the ongoing project are to: (i) monitor the main abiotic and biotic parameters and climatic variables of the lakes at fine temporal scales in order to characterize the temporal dynamic community structure and the ecosystem processes. (ii) analyse the effects of nutrient enrichment and top predator loss on the variability of different ecosystem properties (physical/chemical, community responses, and lake metabolism) at different time scales and on the food web topological structure at different seasons. (iii) Investigate the effects of nutrient enrichment and top predator loss on the resistance and resilience of different ecosystem properties to extreme climate events.

These aims will be attended through extensive sampling campaigns during the three years of the project:

Every 3 months samples of phytoplankton, zooplankton and micro-zoo-benthos will be identified to the lowest possible taxonomic level, measured for body size and enumerated by microscopy. Macro-invertebrates will be sampled in the three main zones of lakes (lake sediment, littoral areas, and pelagic zones). Periphyton development and dominant pigment classes will be measured by fluorimetry. Fish populations will be accurately estimated using mark-recapture and removal methods.

Once a month, we will measure total alkalinity, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved O2, dissolved nutrients: NO2, NO3, NH4+, PO4, N-tot, P-tot, total Chlorophyll a and cyanobacteria, phytoplankton functional pigment groups as well as zooplankton biomass.

Daily (every 2 hours) in each lake a set of automated sensors will record vertical profiles of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, depth pressure, pH, total chlorophyll and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). A Campbell weather station automatically records (every 10 min) air temperature, air pressure, relative humidity, solar radiation, photosynthetically active radiation and rainfall of the platform. Four net radiometers and 4 anemometers, installed above the surface of 4 lakes, are connected to the weather station.

Transnational Access applicants are encouraged to apply for joining this ongoing project with new, complementary topics, for instance:

– Analyses of the interactions between the microbial loop and the classical food web (this may be investigated by flow cytometry with the instrument available in the laboratories of the PLANAQUA platform).

– Relative importance of autotrophy and mixotrophy according to bottom-up and top-down control of communities.

– Analysis of the carbon transfer between the different biotic and abiotic compartments of the lakes (for example bottom-up and top-down control of exchanges between pelagic, benthic and littoral areas).

– Impact of changes of biotic conditions on the physicochemical characteristics of the lakes.

– Stoichiometric ecology.

– Migrations of zooplankton or macro-invertebrates in the experimental lakes.

– Evolution of the life history traits of organisms.

– Role of macrophytes on ecosystem functioning.

The approved users are welcome to participate to sampling campaigns as well as to data analysis and interpretation. Master and PhD students are welcome for training and will be supervised by the local team.

2) Open time slot for new experiments in PLANAQUA outdoor facilities:

Two artificial reservoirs (stocking and drainage lakes, 126 m x 15 m x 3 m deep, 4000 m3) are open all year round to new experiments that don’t imply chemical manipulation of the water.

A large number of outdoor mesocosms (more than 60 tanks) different in volume, number and shape are available all year round from January 2018 (open for TA in the second half of 2018) to develop new studies on stagnant water ecosystems biology and dynamics with a high degree of repetition. Colleagues are also welcome to submit new projects using the series of 12 mesocosms equipped with wave beaters, which are especially thought to investigate the effects of mixing on pelagic and benthic ecosystems. They will be available from June to November 2018 (frost-free season). 

Researchers can also use in-water mesocoms suspended to a pontoon installed on the stocking lake. Number and size of enclosures are dependent upon the research project and might vary from 16 (V: 22.5 m3) to 288 (V 0.6 m3) enclosures.

Transnational Access to users:

A total of 150 person days can be allocated to external users involved AQUACOSM Transnational Access provision in 2018. We offer access to 5 persons for 30 days in the second half of 2018. The access cost offered by PLANAQUA includes all needed preparatory work (before and at site), as well as specific training needed at the sites to complete the specific projects. International scientists are encouraged to contact the local scientists for propositions (planaqua@biologie.ens.fr, sarah.fiorini@ens.fr).

Legal name of organisation (short name)
CNRS CEREEP
Country
France
Continent
Europe
Organisation address

CEREEP-Ecotron IleDeFrance

11 chemin de Busseau

77140 Saint Pierre lès Nemours, France

Infrastructure (short name)
National Experimental Platform in Aquatic Ecology (PLANAQUA)
Infrastructure address

Saint-Pierre-lès-Nemours, 70 km southeast of Paris, France

Coordinates / (routes, areas if non-static)

48.2841253,2.6712967

Facility location(s)
Description of the Infrastructure

Description of the infrastructure: PLANAQUA is a cutting-edge experimental infrastructure located at the CEREEP Research Centre to explore the effects of human disturbances on aquatic biodiversity, community structure and ecosystem functioning of shallow lakes ecosystems. PLANAQUA is jointly supported by Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) and National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS). PLANAQUA combines several facilities. Sixteen artificial ponds (750 m3), with a vegetated, silty, littoral zone, a central pelagic zone, and a sandy benthic area, are equipped with automated sensors to measure vertical profiles of t°C, O2, pH, chl a and PAR. Two larger ponds (4000 m3) serve as storage (for species and water) or drainage reservoirs. In the first pond, a floating pontoon can receive suspended enclosures (typically, 64 enclosures of 6 m3). The experimental ponds are complemented by >80 outdoor mesocosms of various sizes (0.5-15 m3) and shapes. Finally, 12 mesocosms (15 m3 each) have wave generators to control water turbulence.

Aquatic communities (plankton, benthos, macrophytes of marine or freshwater ecosystems) can also be studied in the climatic chambers of the Ecotron IleDeFrance, under highly controlled environmental conditions (t°C, light, nutrients, gas). Dedicated sensors enable monitoring of gas exchange (O2 and CO2) in the experimental systems. Microcosms (from one liter to several hundreds of liters) can be used.

Available instruments include a flow cytometer, spectrophotometer, automatic titrator, segmented flow analyzer, growth cabinets, a laminar flow hood, fume hoods, -20°C and -80°C freezers, an autoclave, ovens, a freeze-drier, culture facilities for algae, microscopes, liquid nitrogen, distilled and ultrapure water, samplers, fixed sensors, multi-parameter and fluorometric probes, small boats and other gear.

PLANAQUA with 16 experimental ponds, a floating pontoon and various mesocosms (left). Tank with wave beater (right). Photos: CEREEP
Primary contact information (PI)

Gerard Lacroix

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Sarah Fiorini

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Years of Mesocosm Experiments
Since 2009
Description of Facility

outdoor/indoor- pelagic/littoral – freshwater/marine

 

1) The Experimental Lake Platform consists of 16 artificial lakes (30 m x 15 m x 3 m deep, 800 m3 each) designed to simulate the spatial heterogeneity and biological complexity of small, continental freshwater bodies (Figure 1). These large experimental systems are spatially structured, with shallow littoral areas, a central pelagic zone and a central benthic area, and may be interconnected along 4 rows of 4 lakes each through 10 m long dispersal channels. In addition, each lake is equipped since June 2016 with automated sensors and data loggers providing detailed and real time information on physical and biological conditions along the water column from the central pelagic zone. The two other artificial reservoirs (126 m x 15 m x 3 m deep, 4000 m3) are a stocking lake used to homogenize water before distribution to experimental lakes and a drainage lake that can collect and purify used water at the end of experiments.

2) Standard outdoor freshwater mesocosms, from 350 litres to 12 m3, with high degree of replication are available (currently, 142 tanks with a minimum of 12 replicates per size group). A further set of 3) 12 outdoor freshwater mesocosms (10 m long, 15 m3) are equipped with wave beaters that generate controlled turbulence and make it possible to manipulate the physical structure of the water column (water mixing) and thermal gradients (see Figure 2 & 3). In addition, 4) standard floating mesocosms (up to 3 m deep, ) can be installed on a permanent floating structure of the stocking lake to run mesocosm experiments requesting a deep and naturally stratified water column (Figure 4).

5) Aquatic microcosms are small containers dedicated to aquatic microbial ecosystems studies from single populations to communities of bacteria, microalgae and other planktonic organisms. Currently, we have in our dedicated laboratories 13 chemostats (single glass vessels) for culturing bacteria and phytoplankton in sterile conditions and 4 double-system chemostats (paired system made out of two connected glass vessels) dedicated to the study of phyto- and zooplankton interactions and dynamics in spatially structured ecosystems (meta-ecosystems). All the systems can be used to run continuous cultures in a light and temperature controlled environment. Moreover, we have 36 custom-made open-top aquatic microcosms dedicated to experimentation on aquatic ecosystems in the Ecolab environmental chambers. Temperature, water mixing and irradiance can be precisely controlled inside each microcosm, and atmospheric conditions are precisely regulated. These equipments are not included in the Aquacosm TA activity but can be directly requested for use to the PI contact.

Controlled Parameters

fish presence and abundance, nutrients, waves and water mixing, temperature, irradiance, gas concentrations.

Research Topics

Effects of human disturbances on aquatic biodiversity, community structure and ecosystem functioning. Long-term study of the bottom-up and top-down control of the functioning of complex communities with heterogeneous spatial distributions, consequences of anthropogenic pressures on biodiversity, up to the species at the top of the food web. Studies of the link between physical constraints and the functioning of aquatic systems.

Primary interests

Effects of global change on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of continental freshwater bodies

Specialist areas

Trophic networks and eco-evolutionary dynamics

Source of Information
Photos of experiments/installations

1) Aerial view of the Experimental Lake Platform

2) Aerial view of the Outdoor mesocosms Platform

3) Detailed view of an outdoor mesocosm equipped with wave beater

4) Detailed view of the Floating mesocosms platform 

Infrastructure (short name)
National Experimental Platform in Aquatic Ecology (PLANAQUA)
Modality of access

Modality of access under AQUACOSM: least 450 person-days in total will be allocated to external users through AQUACOSM Transnational Access provision in years 2-4. Users will be encouraged to apply for AQUACOSM support particularly to cooperate in an ongoing long-term experiment (>4 years) to assess the importance of bottom-up and top-down control of complex communities in a spatially structured habitat. To that end, half of the 16 lakes have been progressively fertilized since 2015, and fish communities will be added in a full factorial design in the autumn of 2016. Users interested in participating in this experiment are most welcome. However, efforts will be made to accommodate also independent experiments that could either be integrated into the ongoing project.

Mesocosms offered by PLANAQUA are freely available for guest researchers to develop their own projects.

Access is offered to at least 5 persons for 30 days each year.

Modality of access under AQUACOSM-plus: At least 320 person-days in total will be allocated to external users through AQUACOSM Transnational Access provision. It is anticipated that AQUACOSM-plus will support stays of at least 7 persons for 43 days for one year within M10-45. Users will be encouraged to apply for AQUACOSM support particularly to cooperate in an ongoing long-term experiment (>4 years) to assess the importance of bottom-up and top-down control of complex communities in a spatially structured habitat. To that end, half of the 16 ponds have been progressively fertilised since 2015, and fish communities will be added in a full factorial design in the autumn of 2016.

Unit of access
What service and support facilities are available

Services currently offered by the infrastructure: The PLANAQUA platform is open to researchers and private companies around the world. Users have access to laboratories, office space, instruments, dormitories (12 double rooms and a dormitory) and lodging facilities at the CEREEP. Up to 30 guests can be hosted. Visiting scientists are generally encouraged to cooperate with the CEREEP technical team responsible for running the infrastructure and with scientists of the associated laboratories.

Support offered under AQUACOSM: CEREEP has procedures in place to provide support to all external users. They will have access to the range of available laboratories, office space and instruments. Users will benefit from support provided by permanent staff to assist with technical advice and purchase of consumables, and the adaptation and further development of equipment and instruments. CEREEP academic staff is qualified to participate to all aspects of a proposed experiment (conception, implementation, field sampling, instrument use, data interpretation, etc.). based on agreements made before the beginning of an experiment. All external users will receive support in terms of planning of activities before and after arrival as well as hands-on training by the local scientific and technical staff.

Support offered under AQUACOSM-plus: Users will benefit from support provided by permanent staff to assist with technical advice, purchase of consumables, and the adaptation and further development of equipment and instruments. CEREEP academic staff is prepared to participate to all aspects of a proposed experiment (conception, implementation, field sampling, instrument use, data interpretation, etc.). Based on agreements made before the beginning of an experiment. All external users will receive support in terms of planning of activities before and after arrival as well as hands-on training by the local scientific and technical staff.

Accommodation

CEREEP – Ecotron Ile de France is able to host up to 36 sleeping guests (12 double rooms and a dormitory for students). In addition, through cooperation with the laboratories associated in the PLANAQUA project, the infrastructure may favour collaboration with other laboratories in Ile-de-France and access to other facilities.

Special rules

PLANAQUA is a member of the national infrastructure AnaEE France dedicated to experimentation on ecosystems. All submitted projects must be registered in the data base of projects of this national infrastructure and users will have to agree with our user charter and publication policy. Details available at http://isia-cereep.anaee-france.fr/ and on request.