Mesocosm Experiments


The purpose of this WP is to assess the effects of eutrophication under conditions of induces hypoxia by increasing nutrients in the water column and the resulting increase in sedimentation of organic material from the column. The mesocosm experiments (i.e. large experimental facilities where, in theory, all the plankton and / or benthic communities are confined) allow one to deflect the system from its initial conditions to an extent hard to do in nature. In mesocosm experiments, nutrients will be introduced into the system in such quantities that the sedimentation of plankton will cause hypoxia in the underlying sediment. The choice of the quantities will be based on preliminary experiments measuring the response of the system through a few selected parameters (e.g. nutrients, chlorophyll, transparency, and O2 for water column and Redox for sediment). During the main mesocosm experiment the variables mentioned above in the WP2 will be studied taking the appropriate number of samples for each type of organisms in the column or sediment and in situ experiments will determine the rates of mineralization.

Planned activities:

-Detailed design of the experimental procedure based on the hypotheses to be tested and given the conditions for the mathematical analysis of the data and the needs of WP1,

-Preparation of experiments involving modifications and adaptation of existing facilities to the needs of the experiment, ordering materials and micro-constructions by specialist craftsmen / technicians,

-Preliminary experiments to test the facilities after the modifications and improvement of the final procedures, decision on the quantities of nutrients for the main experiment.

-Running the experiment for the time it has been decided and sampling for those days and the corresponding parameters.

-After completion of the analysis (WP4), drafting of scientific publications based on the results of the experiments.