Technical Note: A mobile sea-going mesocosm system - new opportunities for ocean change research.

Riebesell, Ulf , Czerny, Jan, von Bröckel, Klaus, Boxhammer, Tim , Büdenbender, Jan, Deckelnick, Mario, Fischer, Matthias, Hoffmann, Detlef, Krug, Sebastian, Lentz, Uwe, Ludwig, Andrea, Muche, Ronald and Schulz, Kai G. (2013) Technical Note: A mobile sea-going mesocosm system - new opportunities for ocean change research. Open Access Biogeosciences (BG), 10 . pp. 1835-1847. DOI 10.5194/bg-10-1835-2013.

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Abstract

One of the great challenges in ocean change research is to understand and forecast the effects of environmental changes on pelagic communities and the associated impacts on biogeochemical cycling. Mesocosms, experimental enclosures designed to approximate natural conditions, and in which environmental factors can be manipulated and closely monitored, provide a powerful tool to close the gap between single species laboratory experiments and observational and correlative approaches applied in field surveys. Existing pelagic mesocosm systems are stationary and/or restricted to well-protected waters. To allow mesocosm experimentation in a range of hydrographic conditions and in areas considered most sensitive to ocean change, we developed a mobile, sea-going mesocosm facility, the Kiel Off-Shore Mesocosms for Future Ocean Simulations (KOSMOS). The KOSMOS platform, which can be transported and deployed by mid-sized research vessels, is designed for operation in moored and free-floating mode under low to moderate wave conditions (up to 2.5 m wave heights). It encloses a water column 2 m in diameter and 15 to 25 m deep (~50–75 m3 in volume) without disrupting the vertical structure or disturbing the enclosed plankton community. Several new developments in mesocosm design and operation were implemented to (i) minimize differences in starting conditions between mesocosms, (ii) allow for extended experimental duration, (iii) precisely determine the mesocosm volume, (iv) determine air–sea gas exchange, and (v) perform mass balance calculations. After multiple test runs in the Baltic Sea, which resulted in continuous improvement of the design and handling, the KOSMOS platform successfully completed its first full-scale experiment in the high Arctic off Svalbard (78° 56.2′ N, 11° 53.6′ E) in June/July 2010. The study, which was conducted in the framework of the European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA), focused on the effects of ocean acidification on a natural plankton community and its impacts on biogeochemical cycling and air/sea exchange of climate relevant gases. This manuscript describes the mesocosm hardware, its deployment and handling, CO2 manipulation, sampling and cleaning, including some further modifications conducted based on the experiences gained during this study.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/211384
Additional Information: WOS:000317010600039
Keywords: Earth System Science/Response to Global Change: Climate Change; Biodiversity; ecosystem function; MICROCOSM EXPERIMENTS; PHYSICAL-ENVIRONMENT; LIMACINA-HELICINA; LIMITED RELEVANCE; ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY; ARCTIC FJORD; ELEVATED CO2; ACIDIFICATION; KONGSFJORDEN; COMMUNITY
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BI Biological Oceanography
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
OceanRep > GEOMAR > ZE Central Facilities > ZE-TLZ Technical and Logistics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.5194/bg-10-1835-2013
ISSN: 1726-4170
Projects: SOPRAN, EPOCA, MESOAQUA, Future Ocean
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2012 08:16
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 23:06
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/15407

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