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

Task 2.2

Task 2.1 Review of AQUACOSM science focus and services
Task 2.2 Science strategy
Task 2.3 Strategy towards sustainability: Innovation
Task 2.4 Strategy toward sustainability: Economics and Governance
Task 2.5 Strategy for the future

Science strategy


will define a science strategy for the AQUACOSM-RI. It will address the need to harmonise and integrate the mesocosms in order to address key scientific questions or specific societal needs related to climate change, contaminants and ecosystem disturbances in Europe. Task 2.2 will also capitalize on the existing resources and infrastructure in order to achieve a long-lasting performance for the AQUACOSM. The science strategy will specifically focus on the practical implementations performed through WP3 (NA), WP5 (NA), WP9 (JRA) and WP6 (TA). Task 2.2 will mobilize the know-how within the AQUACOSM consortium to elaborate a common strategy addressing the identified key environmental challenges, while taking advantages of the joint availability of harmonised mesocosm facilities into an integrated research framework. Besides advances in technology (WP7 and 8), optimizing the implementation of a European network of mesocosms clearly requires an a priori consideration of: (1) the integration between facilities in terms of their uniqueness and representativeness of specific aquatic environments and conditions to study complex coupled processes, and (2) the transition between local to regional and pan-European (Mediterranean to Arctic) experiments. AQUACOSM will adopt a nested approach to tackle these two questions.

SubTask 2.2.1 will further analyse the data collected through task 2.1 and will synthesise the recommendations on best practices (WP3) and experiences gained from the JRAs (WP7, 8 and 9) and from relevant TA projects in terms of practical integration of infrastructures for serving scientific challenges. The output of task 2.1 on the science focuses will be analysed from a European perspective and will then be integrated into the AQUACOSM science strategy. More specifically, this subtask will:

  • Assess how integrating mesocosms into a European infrastructure will lead for scientific breakthrough in marine and freshwater research
  • Summarise how the different components of AQUACOSM can optimally interact and can jointly be used in practice for joint research. A dedicated meeting with WP3 on Best practices will be organised around M36 in order to gather consensual views on how the level of harmonization reached in the project can support the exploitation of the full potential of AQUACOSM as a network of European mesocosms.
  • Propose strategies to increase the impact of European aquatic mesocosm research.

SubTask 2.2.2: Designing, and gaining experience from joint research activity (WP9) performed at a local/regional scale and aiming at demonstrating the ability of AQUACOSM efficiently address the identified environmental challenges. This will be achieved through tight interactions with the JRA-3 carried out through WP9. The activity of the team will be coordinated with those of the JRA-3, during the first 6 months of the project in order to optimize the experiments and tests to be carried out in WP9. Dedicated meetings will be organized at months 24 and 40 to collect experience and feedbacks from JRA-3 and integrate those in the proposed science strategy. The outcomes of the two subtasks will be presented in a report on the science strategy that will be elaborated and consolidated through two iterations during the course of the project.