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


Legal name of organisation (short name)
Uppsala University (UU)
Organisation address

Uppsala University, Box 256, SE-751 05, Uppsala

Linked third parties:

  • Swedish Agricultural University (SLU Umeå), 90183 Umeå, Sweden
  • Gothenburg University (GU), Box 100, 405 30 Gothenburg
  • Sweden Water Research AB (SWR), Ideon Science Park, 223 70 Lund
Infrastructure (short name)
Infrastructure address
  • Erken Laboratory (UU), Norra Malmavägen 45, 761 73 Norrtälje, Sweden
  • Asa Research Station (SLU), 363 94 Lammhult, Sweden
  • Bolmen Research Station (SWR), Tiraholm, 314 52 Unnaryd, Sweden
  • Skogaryd Research Station (GU),
  • Svartberget Research Station (SLU), Svartberget Research Station, 922 91 Vindeln, Sweden
Coordinates / (routes, areas if non-static)
Facility location(s)
Description of the Infrastructure

Description of the infrastructure: SITES AquaNet is a modular infrastructure with mesocosm facilities in lakes connected to 5 field stations (Asa, Bolmen, Erken, Skogaryd, Svartberget) that are part of the Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science (SITES). SITES AquaNet is coordinated by Uppsala University and the associated partners are the Swedish Agricultural University (SLU), Gothenburg University (GU) and Sweden Water Research (SWR). The unique feature of SITES AquaNet is that it is fully standardized across sites and therefore enables modularized experimental manipulations in lakes along a latitudinal gradient in Sweden. This includes a sensor and data logging system to measure in each mesocosm real-time environmental parameters, such as DO, temperature, photosynthetic active radiation, chlorophyll, phycocyanin and turbidity. The lakes in each respective station (Stortjärn, Erken, Erssjön, Feresjön and Bolmen) vary in local environmental conditions:  This allows to achieve general conclusions on ecological phenomena; particularly how local differences between important variables across sites (e.g., temperature, elevation, nutrients and water colour) mediate the outcomes of experimental manipulations of explanatory predictors for the phenomena.

SITES AquaNet has established protocols to standardize both field and laboratory work. Each station is equipped with field equipment for collection of samples and there is access to cold storage, freezing rooms and laboratory facilities for filtering and extraction of samples for a wide range of analyses.

The Erken Laboratory can also provide 20 1500 L polyethylene enclosures. 

Primary contact information (PI)

Silke Langenheder


Years of Mesocosm Experiments
2017 - present
Description of Facility
  • Outdoor, freshwater, deployed in an adaptable jetfloat, placed in the lake Erken close to the campus of the research station.
  • 20 hardshell PE enclosures (ø = 0.9 m, depth =1.5 m, volume = 700 l). Possibility to use PE-film enclosures
  • Sensor system for a minimum of 16 mesocosms: Agogee SQ-500 sensor for PAR, oxygen optode 4531 sensor (Aandeera) for dissolved oxygen and temperature, Trilux (Chelsea) for chlorophyll a fluorescence, turbidity and phycocyanin fluorescence
Controlled Parameters

Possible manipulations include nutrient and substance additions, shading, food web manipulations, dispersal/species additions

Research Topics

Biodiversity-functioning-stability relationships, community ecology, ecological stoichiometry, food web interactions, benthic-pelagic dynamics, biogeochemistry (e.g., nutrient cycling), land-water-air gas exchange, cyanobacterial blooms and global change research.

Primary interests
Specialist areas

Synchronized experiments

Photos of experiments/installations

Photo credit: Erik Sahlee
Photo credit: Leif Klemedtsson
Photo credit: Ola Langvall

Infrastructure (short name)
Modality of access

Modality of access under AQUACOSM-plus: A total of 1600 person-days for the entire SITES AquaNet infrastructure will be allocated to external users supported by an AQUACOSM-plus TA activity. It is anticipated that AQUACOSM-plus will support a minimum of 5-7 persons for 50-60 days per year in M22-33 at each station. A typical experiment is expected to run for 6-8 weeks. The primary objective for access will be the implementation a coordinated experiment in all 5 lakes in SITES AquaNet that addresses a grand scientific challenge as defined in Work package 6. TA users will have the opportunity to be part of this synchronised experiment, which includes planning, on-site preparation, and implementation of experiments at the different field stations. The access costs are estimated based on real cost calculations.

Unit of access

Person days

What service and support facilities are available

Services currently offered by the infrastructure: External users have open access to equipment to run and participate mesocosm experiments in one or more lakes spread across a geographical and climatic gradient in Sweden. This includes sensor calibrations and installations, support with installing and uninstalling of mesocosms, online visualisation of sensor data, access to sensor data and lab space, equipment for sampling, and sample preparation and sampling protocols. Data from lake and time-series data is also available through SITES Water (coordinated by Skogaryd and Svartberget) comprising a multi-layered lake and stream monitoring program including hydrological, physical, chemical, and biological parameters as well as GHG and C fluxes. Additional technical and analytical support by experienced staff is available when costs are covered, including the possibility for water analyses in accredited laboratories. Activities at the different stations include a large variety of long-term monitoring programs and research projects within the field of ecosystem science, which gives users the possibility to interact with technical staff and researchers working at the stations.

Support offered under AQUACOSM-plus: TA users will have full access to the mesocosm infrastructure and services described above, as well as training by technical staff in sampling procedures and the use of equipment and instruments. Standard disposables, as well as administrative and logistic support (cars and boats), are also provided.


Accommodation is either available at the stations or in nearby hostels.

Special rules