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

UiB Mesocosm Centre (University of Bergen Mesocosm Centre)

Legal name of organisation (short name)
University of Bergen (UiB)
Country
Norway
Continent
Europe
Organisation address

University of Bergen (UiB)
Department of Biology
PO-Box 7803
5020 Bergen OR Thormøhlensgate 53 A & B
5006 Bergen
NORWAY

Infrastructure (short name)
UiB Mesocosm Centre (University of Bergen Mesocosm Centre)
Infrastructure address

Marine Biological Station, Espegrend, 20 km south of Bergen, Norway

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

Description of the infrastructure: The UIB-MC at Espegrend is part of the Department of Biological Sciences (BIO). It offers a wide range of opportunities for marine mesocosm experiments. The facility includes a floating platform with 12 enclosures in the Raunefjord (10-30 m3 each) plus 18 land-based outdoor mesocosms (2.5 m3), both located at UIB’s Marine Biological Station. A unique feature of the enclosures in the fjord is a floating raft that provides high-quality wet-lab space and electricity for immediate sample processing and lab-based measurements of samples. Small boats facilitate easy access from land to the platform. The mesocosms can also be set-up for temperature (land tanks only) and CO2 treatments by users. Infrastructure on land includes multiple laboratories (chemistry lab, isotope minilab for 14C and 3H, live lab, formalin lab, 3 walk-in cold rooms with running sea-water and light control, general lab equipment such as freezers and ovens, Milli-Q water, a cooled centrifuge, microscopes, etc).

UIB Mesocosm Centre: in situ mesocosms (l), TA & local team, Norway. Photo: SA. Berger; IGB.
Primary contact information (PI)

Jorun Egge

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Tatiana Tsagaraki

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Years of Mesocosm Experiments
1978-present
Description of Facility

outdoor – pelagic – marine

1. Floating platform
including up to 12 floating rings with mesocosm bags ranging from 10 to 30 m3,  diameter  2 m; length 5-10 m, see Fig.1

2. Land-based system
with up to 18 tanks of 2.5 m3 , diameter 1.5 m; height 1.5 m, deployed within 3 tanks of 30 m3 , diameter 5 m; height 1.5 m, see Fig.2

Manipulations

Seawater enclosures

Nutrient composition, add/remove mesozooplankton, CO2/pH

Land based tanks

Nutrient composition, add/remove mesozooplankton CO2/pH, salinity, adjust light and temperature

Research Topics

Studies of the whole microbial community from viruses to mesozooplankton, grazing studies, initiate and follow specific phytoplankton blooms (e.g. diatoms, Emiliania huxleyi) acidification experiments, testing outcome/results of simulation models

Primary interests
Specialist areas
Source of Information
Photos of experiments/installations

Fig.1 Floating structure with 12 mesocosms (Photo: Stella A Berger)

Fig.2 Land-based mesocosms (Photo: Stella A Berger)

Infrastructure (short name)
UiB Mesocosm Centre (University of Bergen Mesocosm Centre)
Modality of access

Modality of access under AQUACOSM: At least 588 person days will be allocated to external users, which will be integrated into the existing schedule of the Mesocosm Centre. A minimum of 5 persons for 10 days are needed to successfully conduct an independent experiment in the UiB mesocosms. However, it is anticipated that typically AQUACOSM will support of groups of 14 persons staying for 20-22 days will be granted access in 2018 and 2019. To support increased international cooperation and foster adaptation of new approaches and techniques, individual users and smaller groups are also invited to apply for AQUACOSM TA when larger projects are already planned at the facility. Furthermore, to enhance scientific progress and output, efforts will be made to coordinate the AQUACOSM TA activities with other ongoing and planned projects.

Modality of access under AQUACOSM-plus: At least 600 person days will be allocated to external users, which will be integrated into the existing schedule of the UIB-MC. It is anticipated that AQUACOSM-plus will support groups of 12 persons staying for 25 days per year in two seasons within the period M10-45. To support increased international cooperation and foster adaptation of new approaches and techniques, individual users and smaller groups are also invited to apply for AQUACOSM-plus TA in support of larger projects at the facility.

Unit of access
What service and support facilities are available

Services offered by the infrastructureIn addition to providing access to mesocosms, the UIB-MC offers office and lab space to external users. Through collaboration with local scientists, users can also gain access to a wide range of advanced UIB facilities, including electron microscopes, advanced light microscope incl. image analysis systems, flow-cytometers, and molecular laboratories. A particularly important feature is that researchers have an opportunity to verify experimental results in settings of increasing complexity, ranging from laboratory-based studies to well- controlled outdoor mesocosms on land and enclosures in the fjord. In addition, experimental results can be compared with observational data from a wide range of natural pelagic environments, given that the Norwegian west coast is the only place in Europe with close access to both coastal and oceanic environments. The UIB-MC includes an auditorium, dormitories, a large kitchen and combined dining and living room and 20 bedrooms. Operation started in 1978 and has since been continued, which provides the team at UIB with the longest experience worldwide in mesocosm studies of pelagic ecosystems. Numerous national and international research groups were hosted over the last 3 decades to conduct mesocosm experiments lasting from several days to months. Addressing a wide range of fundamental and applied marine ecological questions, these experiments have resulted in more than 100 peer-reviewed articles to date.

Support offered under AQUACOSM: All users will have access to the mesocosms, laboratories and office space. Scientific cooperation with UiB scientists facilitates access to additional facilities, instruments and expertise of local staff. To increase scientific advancements and output of the TA activity, beyond simple access to the mesocosms, all users will receive support with the planning of activities. This process needs to be initiated several months before arrival and will be accompanied by hands-on training and assistance throughout the stay by the local AQUACOSM team. In addition the users will benefit from support offered by permanently employed staff at the Mesocosm Centre.

Support offered under AQUACOSM-plus: All users will have access to the services described above. To increase scientific advancements and output, all users will receive support with the planning of activities prior to arrival and will be accompanied by hands-on training and assistance throughout the stay by the local AQUACOSM-plus team. The users will also be supported by permanently employed staff at the Mesocosm Centre.

Accommodation

Dormitory with 20 sleeping rooms, a few steps away from the laboratory building, modern large scale kitchen facilities where guests can provide their meals and a combined dining and living room. Laundry facility is available on site.

Special rules