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


JRA2: Pilot execution of Grand Challenge scenario-testing through bridging scales of experimental and observational RI networks

  Work package leader:  LMU
Contacts:  Herwig Stibor
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Task 8.1 Demonstration to tackle Grand Challenges through mobilised mesocosm experimentation

Task 8.2 Pilot co-design of network RI-RI collaboration in continental freshwater domains

Task 8.3 Pilot co-design of network RI-RI collaboration in coastal marine domains

Task 8.4 Develop readiness to conduct full-scale pelagic experiments under harsh ice conditions relevant for Arctic experiments

Task 8.5 Co-design and optimisation of Experiments supported by Transnational Access (TA) and Joint Research Activities 


The enhanced mobility for mesocosm experimentation, through technological developments in WP7 and the expanded network of unique mesocosm facilities within AQUACOSM-plus, as well as the development of the first ice and wave resistant pelagic mesocosms from AQUACOSM will be exploited in WP8. Both within the enlarged AQUACOSM-plus consortium (Task 8.1), and piloting co-design of research with European observational RI networks (JERICO-S3, ICOS, LTER, DANUBIUS) in the continental (Task 8.2) and coastal marine domains (Task 8.3). In addition, the performance of the new ice-resistant Aquacosm- mesocosms will be tested by conducting a full-scale over-wintering experiment under Arctic relevant conditions (Task 8.4). Lastly, synergies will be created through the combination of the new international co-design and optimisation of experimental approaches (identified in WP6, Training in WP3, and Project Tracker in WP5) and the Transnational Access (TA) offered. This will be achieved by coordinating cross-facility joint research activities, to ensure effective capacity building and experimental harmonisation and novel high-throughput analytic approaches, not previously available at all sites (Task 8.5).

All tasks will specifically aim at breaking existing communication barriers within the European environmental RI landscape, paving the way to sustainable and integrated, mission-oriented multi-domain collaboration and co-designed research of RI networks. The network RI-RI collaboration in AQUACOSM-plus will be based on shared partnerships and co-location of observational and AQUACOSM- plus mesocosm facilities. The light-weight mesocosm platforms (WP7.1) will also be mobilised to geographical areas currently represented by observatories of other RI networks, but lacking mesocosm facilities so far. Special emphasis will be put on establishing new and integrating recent aquatic mesocosm facilities in south Eastern European member states, specifically supporting the DANUBIUS-RI/PP initiative (


D8.1 Report on experimental strategies to test Grand Challenges (M6)

D8.2 Expert contributor module available on TA portal (M6)

D8.3 Report on JRA-TA partnership programme (M30)

D8.4 Report on joint investigations in controlled high-tech and natural low-tech sites for a better understanding of long-term processes (M42)

D8.5 Report on boundary conditions for winter mesocosms (M44)

D8.6 Summary report on success of JRA-strategies in WP8.1&8.3 (M46)