Mesocosm experiments

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mesocosm

/ˈmɛsə(ʊ)ˌkɒz(ə)m/

Ecology

  • An enclosed and essentially self-sufficient (but not necessarily isolated) experimental environment or ecosystem that is on a larger scale than a laboratory microcosm.


Our researchers utilize 100L glass tanks filled with seawater and natural communities of phytoplankton and bacteria that are taken from key sampling points from coastal locations or offshore from important sites such as the Flower Garden Banks National Sanctuary. The tanks are then inoculated with these natural communities and then subjected to various treatments from WAF (Water Accommodated Fraction of Oil) and CEWAF (Chemically Enhanced Water Accommodated Fraction of Oil), to controls containing only seawater and inoculates. These treated small scale ecosystems are then allowed to sit for anywhere from a few days to a week, with samples being taken on a regular basis to help elucidate the formation of marine snow at each interval.

December 2017
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Funded by: GoMRI