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.
Excellent indoor mesocosm facilities: wet labs and several climate rooms supplied with seawater pumped up from below the thermocline from adjacent fjord. Thanks to modern heat exchangers, mesocosms can be supplied with water of different temperatures and this in combination with facilities to regulate and monitor pH allows simultation of climate change scenarios that have successfully examined its effects on Shrimps and Krill (photo A). But also exposure studies with larger organisms: Cod held and exposed to oil in mesocosms maintained at constant in situ conditions (photo B). Also available are benthic chambers of different inner diameters and lids fitted with a stirrer, oxygen optodes and injector ports that support high quality sediment manipulation experiments (e.g. recently conducted stable isotope pulse chase experiments looking at the impact of mine tailings on seafloor community structure and functioning. Other manipulation incubations include, fine scale studies such as examining the impact of drill cuttings of cold water coral feeding activity (timelaps photography, photo C) and larger experiments examining impact of drill cuttings on selected pelagic & benthic components (photo D & E).
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):
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:
Multiple monitored concentration of crude oil additions (dissolved or oil droplets) in water within a single experiment.
At NORCE-MRC, 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)
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.
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.
A canteen will provide lunch to big groups and hotel rooms, rental houses or apartments are available in the vicinity of the facility.