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

NORCE Marine Research Center in Mekjarvik (NORCE-MRC)

Details coming soon

No opening for TA in 2019

No opening for TA in 2018

Name
NORCE Marine Research Center in Mekjarvik (NORCE-MRC)
Legal name of organisation
NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS
Country
Norway
Continent
Europe
Organisation address

Mekjarvik 12, `,br /> 4070 Randaberg,
Norway

Primary contact information (PI)

Dr. Thorleifur Agustsson:

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Years of Mesocosm Experiments
1995-present
Description of Facility

Pelagic/Benthic and Marine/Freshwater

Facilities have been tailored for conducting studies targeting a range of marine conditions from temperate to Arctic and surface waters to deep sea. The centre includes 620 m2 of laboratories, all with access to a continuous supply of filtered seawater pumped from 80 m depth from the fjord adjacent to the laboratory. Recently fitted sophisticated heat exchange systems supply multiple seawater temperatures to support several independent experiments simultaneously or for use within single experiments facilitating multi-stressor studies.

Experimental facility divided into 2 parts (see pictures):

  • Pilot hall for large scale experiments that include pelagic enclosures of different sizes to conduct exposure studies with organisms varying from zooplankton larvae to adult fish. Additionally, benthic chambers of different sizes, each equipped with lids holding a stirrer, optodes, special injector and sampling ports are available for use in either the pilot hall or climate rooms.
  • 6 climate rooms are available for more specific incubations requiring strict regulation of both air and water temperature. Climate rooms all with control of light and temperature (-1 to +40 °C).
Controlled Parameters

Continuous supply of fresh seawater taken from the adjacent fjord below the thermocline (80 m water depth) passing through double sand filters The parameters that can be controlled (single or multiple) include:

  1. Finer filtering of incoming water (filters of different size).
  2. Multiple water temperature within a single experiment
  3. Multiple monitored range in water oxygenation within a single experiment.
  4. Multiple monitored range in water pH within a single experiment.

Multiple monitored concentration of crude oil additions (dissolved or oil droplets) in water within a single experiment.

Research Topics

At IRIS Mekjarvik Research Station, there is a strong focus on high quality laboratory exposure/manipulation experiments (pelagic and benthic mesocosm setups) aimed at understanding the impact of predicted climate change and anthropogenic activity on key pelagic and benthic players and processes in the marine and freshwater ecosystem. Research funding from the Industry, Research council of Norway and the EU.  Recently addressed research topics include:

Impact of crude oil on Cod and Salmon (Research council of Norway with National & International partners)

Facility location(s)
Primary interests
Specialist areas
Photos of experiments/installations

Photo: Leon Moodley
Photo: Leon Moodley
Photo: Leon Moodley

TA

Infrastructure (short name)
NORCE-MRC
Installation (short name)
Location

Mekjarvik 12, 4070 Randaberg, Norway

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

Pelagic, benthic, marine, freshwater

Depths / bottom / surface
Description

Description of the infrastructure: Facilities are tailored for conducting studies targeting a range of marine conditions from temperate to Arctic. The center includes 620 m2 of laboratories, all with access to continuously pumped and sand- filtered seawater from a depth of 80 meters from the adjacent fjord (Byfjorden). There are two main areas for practical research activity and holding of animals. The first is the pilot hall and is capable of housing multiple test tanks up to several hundred liters in volume. The remainder of the building provides a modern infrastructure for experimental work, including five climate rooms.

The incoming seawater system, comprises of several heat exchangers delivering a range of continuous pre-set seawater temperatures (-1° to 25°C) in support of exposure studies. This seawater experimental hall for delivers: continuous seawater flow systems, exposure to water soluble fraction, dispersion with controlled droplet size distribution, single chemical – complex mixture or mineral particles, seawater supply up to 250 liters/min. At input, seawater temperature, salinity and turbidity continuously logged. The setup and water input are monitored by NORCE employees 24/7. This offers the possibility of short to long time experiment. The climate rooms have independent computer-controlled seawater and air temperature (2° to +32C) and lighting. NORCE-MRC in Mekjarvik area is accredited for experimental trials on various species of fish (trout, cod, turbot, salmon), invertebrates (mussels, prawn, shrimp, crab, lobster, protozoan), and algae.

Pilot hall and climate rooms, benthis mesocosms in Randaberg, Norway. Photo: NORCE
Instruments / sensors / equipment
Modality of access

Modality of access under AQUACOSM-plus: A total of at least 300 person days will be offered to external users supported through the AQUACOSM-plus Transnational Access provision. It is anticipated that AQUACOSM-plus will support stays of at least 3-4 persons for 43 days in M 23-33.

Unit of access

Persondays

What is available and when
What service and support facilities are available

Services currently offered by the infrastructure: Users have access to the mesocosm area, laboratories and instrumentation at the facility through open collaboration with NORCE researchers. Permanent staff are also available for support, setup and following up of the experiments. The laboratory facilities include: Ecotoxicology, Histology, Chemistry, Proteomics, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Microscopy and Image Analysis, and microplastic analytical work. The facility is operative since 1994 with a strong focus on high quality laboratory exposure/manipulation experiments (pelagic and benthic mesocosm setups) aimed at understanding the impact of predicted climate change and anthropogenic activity on key pelagic and benthic players and processes in the marine and freshwater ecosystem. Research funding has been obtained from industry, the Research council of Norway and the EU. Recently addressed research topics include: Ecological functions of sediments and anthropogenic impact, impact of crude oil on cod development, krill and pelagic microbial diversity, the sensitivity of krill to multiple stressors (ocean acidification, chemicals and temperature), the impact of mine tailings on seafloor structure and functioning, the impact of drill-cuttings on corals and sponges, and the impact of CO2 seepage behavioural traits in benthic invertebrates.

Support offered under AQUACOSM-plus: The facilities described above will be at the disposal of the users as agreed upon open collaboration with NORCE researchers. User will receive all training and assistance necessary to operate instruments and facilities. 

Accommodation

A canteen will provide lunch to big groups and hotel rooms, rental houses or apartments are available in the vicinity of the facility.

Special rules