The Mesocosm Facility at Umeå Marine Sciences Center (MF-UMSC) has an indoor and an outdoor component. It is located close to the seashore in the northern part of the brackish Baltic Sea (63 °N latitude). The indoor facility consists of 12 cylindrical mesocosms with water columns 4.86 m high and 0.74 m in diameter (volume ca. 2 m3). Temperature can be controlled and manipulated in 3 different sections of each mesocosm. This enables projects that require stratification, controlled convective stirring or both. Projects that require ice can be carried out, and parameters such as freezing or thawing rate can be adjusted. Valoya R-258 (Light DNA) are used as a light source, especially produced with the aim to closely mimic the spectra of the sun. The intake water can either be pumped in directly from the sea or be supplied from elsewhere. Equipment is available for studies requiring intact sediment in the mesocosms. This includes a semi-automatic sediment sampler. The indoor mesocosms are equipped with filters of different mesh sizes, down to 1 μm, and an automatic water renewal system to control turnover rates. The newly established outdoor facility is available during summer. It consists of 4 large pools with temperature-controlled running seawater, each carrying 6 cubic mesocosms of 1 m3 (Fig.9.7 right). Experimental designs can be supported by long-term local time series of ecological variables stored in an easily accessible database on the internet. The facilities can also be used for freshwater studies by running experiments with water from the nearby Öre River.
MF-UMSC is equipped with modern wet and dry labs, several special laboratories, 2 large aquarium halls, 5 walk-in cold rooms, and seagoing research vessels as well as small boats. Various analytical instruments for chemical and biological analyses are available. An auditorium for 50 persons and a classroom laboratory are also available. The direct connection of MF-UMSC with the Departments of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, and Molecular Biology ensures access to additional analytical facilities in environmental and analytical chemistry and molecular biology, as well as expertise of a broad scientific community.
Indoor – pelagic – marine, brackish, (freshwater), 12 tanks of 5 m depth, 2 m3 volume.
Outdoor- pelagic – marine, brackish, (freshwater), 24 tanks of 1 m3. Sediment may be added.
Umeå University (UmU)
40 km south of Umeå
Indoor: Temperature (-1o up to 30o C), stratification depth and strength, convective stirring at different rates, size fractionation of organisms in intake water down to 1 µm, time programs controls light intensity and spectra, adjustable air temperature above the water surface, ice freezing rate, ice thawing rate, adjustable water exchange, chemical parameters.
Outdoor: size fractionation of organisms in intake water (300 – 1 µm), chemical parameters.
Land-sea interactions, climate change, and impact of environmental pollution on organism stoichiometry and health, taxonomic composition, predator-prey interactions, food web processes and efficiency.
2007 to present
Services currently offered by the infrastructure: MF-UMSC provides the logistic support needed on site, including office and lab space and a library. Access to boats and transportation with seagoing research vessels is also ensured, for instance to collect biological material for mesocosm treatments. Guests can be accommodated in a hostel with 20 beds and cooking facilities. Lodgings and restaurants are available in the nearby town of Hörnefors. About 70 international researchers have used the facility during numerous experiments conducted over the past 10 years. Outcomes resulted in many high impact publications e.g. on control of methylmercury levels in coastal environments studied in the indoor facility.
Support offered under AQUACOSM: A dedicated person at MF-UMSC is responsible for the technical operation of the mesocosms during experiments. This includes testing of operational parameters, surveillance and maintenance of the facility before and during an experiment. A scientist at MF-UMSC is available to assist with the practical and scientific coordination of projects, assistance with chemical analysis is possible as well as support from our ship crew. Overall, this operation mode has proved effective since 2007.
Support offered under AQUACOSM-plus: A dedicated person at MF-UMSC is responsible for the technical operation of the mesocosms during experiments. This includes testing of operational parameters, surveillance and maintenance of the facility before and during an experiment. A scientist at MF-UMSC is available to assist with the practical and scientific coordination of projects, and support for chemical and biological sample analyses and a ship crew may be purchased.
Modality of access under AQUACOSM: MF-UMSC offers open access to all infrastructure in the MF- UMSC for visiting scientists accepted through AQUACOSM TA activities. At least 624 person days in total for TA will be allocated to external users in years 2-4. Groups of 20 visiting scientists or more can work on independent projects for up to 30 days, with the mesocosm hall and adjacent laboratories exclusively reserved for an AQUACOSM project. Present research projects using MF-UMSC focus on effects of land–sea interactions and climate change on marine food-web structure and function, as well as on the origin, impact and remediation of anthropogenic environmental pollution.
Modality of access under AQUACOSM-plus: MF-UMSC offers open access to all infrastructure in the MF-UMSC for visiting scientists accepted through AQUACOSM-plus TA activities. At least 700 person days in total for TA will be allocated to external users in M10-21 and M34-45. Groups of up to 16 visiting scientists can work on independent projects for up to 22 days per year, with the mesocosm hall and adjacent laboratory exclusively reserved for AQUACOSM-plus in one year. In addition, smaller groups are welcome to join other projects at MF-UMSC at any time. Present research projects using MF-UMSC focus on effects of land–sea interactions and climate change on marine food- web structure and function, as well as on the origin, impact and remediation of anthropogenic environmental pollution.
Our hostel is situated a few hundred meters from the field station. Ten rooms with two beds each are available as well as a large kitchen with fridges, freezer and cooking facilities. Additional accommodation and restaurants are also available in nearby Hörnefors.