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Estación de Ciencias Mariñas de Toralla (ECIMAT)

University of Vigo
Infrastructure Description

ECIMAT-Mesocosms are located at Toralla island Marine Research Station (CIM-University of Vigo), in the Ría de Vigo (NW Spain). This area of the Atlantic coast is characterized by an upwelling-downwelling regime, in which upwelling events are more frequent from March to September. ECIMAT-M consist of land-based facilities, renovated in 2021, that include real-time monitored benthic and pelagic mesocosms. Twelve 0.7 m3 soft-bottom benthic mesocosms are available, with a tide simulation system and temperature and salinity control throughout the tidal cycle. For pelagic mesocosms, this facility includes a 70 m3 concrete tank, with natural seawater circulation, to allocate up to 9 mesocosms (1m in diameter, 2m depth). Temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and pH are measured with a 10-minutes frequency in each experimental tank.

Floating platforms for in-situ pelagic mesocosms (1m diameter, 1-2m depth) are also available, to allocate up to 6 mesocosms bags, as well as microcosms and incubation tanks.

This mesocosms facility is complemented by the services and working spaces of ECIMAT marine station, that include multiple laboratories (from microscopy lab to cultures lab). Isothermal chambers are available for experimentation as well as different options for samples preservation, from fridges or freezers (-20ºC and -80ºC) to liquid nitrogen cryopreservation. Several boats are also available at the marine station, as well as diving service for samples collection at the sea.




Facility Description
  • 70 m3 tank to allocate 9 polyethylene mesocosms bags (1m in diameter, 2m depth).
  • 12 benthic mesocosm (0.7 m3) with tide simulation and controlled temperature and salinity.
  • Floating platform with 6 floating rings for mesocosms bags (1 m diameter).
Organisation Address

Illa de Toralla






Infrastructure Address

Toralla Island

NW coast of the Iberian Peninsula



Information Sources





Jose González

Damián Costas

Controlled Parameters

Temperature, light, nutrients, salinity

Research Topics

Marine Ecology (plankton community structure and metabolism), Ecotoxicology, Aquaculture and Physical Oceanography

Experiment Years

Discontinuous experimentation in mesocosms since 2004, although current facilities were totally renovated in 2015 (in situ mesocosms) and 2021 (land-based mesocosms)

TA Support

Services currently offered by the infrastructure: Users will get full access to the marine station, including mesocosm facilities, laboratories, office space, as well as boat and diving support for mesocosms experimentation. Accommodation in the proximities of ECIMAT is available at moderate cost.

Support offered under AQUACOSM-plus: Users will have access to the facilities described including assistance from the technical staff. Ocean and meteorological conditions (wind, air and water temperature, salinity, etc) in mesocosms area are real-time monitored. Boats and diving services are also provided.

TA Modality of Access

Modality of access under AQUACOSM-plus: At least 250 person-days in total will be allocated to external users supported by an AQUACOSM TA activity in M22-33. Approximately 6 visiting scientists over 42 days for one year are welcome to make independent experiments at ECIMAT-M facilities. Collaboration with the local research community in new/ongoing experiments will be also welcome.

TA Accommodation

Various size apartments available.

Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. - Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei
Müggelseedamm 301 and 310
12587 Berlin, Germany