The mesocosm facility run by the Ecotoxicology group of the IMDEA Water Institute consists of 9 independent stream channels, 24 lotic model ecosystems of 1 m3, and a biodiversity lagoon equipped with a macrophyte-based filter. The mesocosm facility allows the design and performance of experiments with several controls and treatments, and is perfectly suited to:
- Assess the dissipation and fate of contaminants in environmental matrices (e.g. water, sediment, biota)
- Assess the direct and indirect effects of contaminants on several biological endpoints in order to calculate safe environmental concentrations
- Evaluate the interaction between multiple stressors (chemical and non-chemical) on aquatic ecosystems
A wide range of measuring and sampling devices are available, which allow the evaluation of the following endpoints:
- Water physico-chemical parameters (DO, T, pH, EC, Alkalinity, etc.)
- Nutrient concentrations
- Biological responses at the population and community level: phytoplankton, macrophytes, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, etc.
Our mesocosm facility is located few meters away to our analytical chemistry lab, and can be used to represent scenarios such as those used for the regulatory risk assessment of chemicals in southern Europe.
The mesocosm facility of the IMDEA Water Instituto belongs to MESOCOSM, the open virtual network for aquatic mesocosm facilities worldwide.