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


NA5: Defining Grand Challenges in aquatic mesocosm research

  Work package leader:  WCL
Contacts:  Robert Ptacnik
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Task 6.1 Symposium on Grand Challenges in Aquatic Mesocosm Research

Task 6.2 AquaSUMMIT writing retreats – Scientific high impact Outputs

Task 6.3 Synthesis and Meta-analyses workshop – providing the tools to generalize across mesocosm experiments


Work package 6 will provide a conceptual roadmap for facilitating cutting-edge solution-oriented research tackling grand challenges in AQUACOSM-plus JRA and TA (WP 8 & 9).

The AQUACOSM network provides access to the most advanced mesocosm facilities across Europe, and spans from alpine lakes over lowland waters to coastal and open ocean systems. These sites hence cover virtually all aquatic habitats and ecoregions found in Europe (Fig.3.3), and allow for analyzing effects and mitigation measures of virtually all aquatic habitats and problems connected to them. On top of that, several of the partner sites in AQUACOSM-plus are involved in monitoring programs, which are part of other H2020 research infrastructure (IR) programs (e.g. JERICO, LTER, ICOS, DANUBIUS, AnaEE: Table 1.1). 

Long-term data of their sites allows formulating specific research questions in the context of site-specific ongoing environmental change including climate change, pollution and other disturbances on the ecosystem.

The principal aim of WP6 is to foster leading-edge research on the RIs present in AQUACOSM-plus and beyond in terms of addressing the most pressing scientific questions e.g. in the context of climate change, biodiversity loss, emerging pollutants and other disturbances on aquatic ecosystems, but also exploring the possibilities for of nature-based solutions in the field. WP6 will achieve this goal by bringing together experimentalists, modellers, and representatives from other relevant RIs and by involving stakeholders of key sites for facilitating to apply cutting-edge methods and theories to the most pressing environmental problems related to the ecology of surface waters.


D6.1 Catalogue of grand challenges, also published on project tracker (M08)

D6.2 Manuscript for Opinion paper (M12)

D6.3 Manuscript for Concept paper AquaSUMMIT 1 (M12)

D6.4 Meta-analysis manuscript (M24)

D6.5 Manuscript for Empirical paper AquaSUMMIT 2 (M36)