Enclosed Experimental Marine Ecosystems: A Review and Recommendations

Enclosed Experimental Marine Ecosystems: A Review and Recommendations

Editor(s): C.M. Lalli

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

Print ISBN: 9780387973418

Online ISBN: 9781118663684

DOI: 10.1029/CE037

About this Book

Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Coastal and Estuarine Studies Series, Volume 37.

The application of mesocosms, defined in this report as artificial experimental enclosures ranging in size from 1 m3 to 10 m3, to address various problems in the marine sciences has been a relatively recent development. The application of the technology was dictated by the realization that many important ocean processes and interactions cannot be fully understood from observations in the natural environment or in smaller enclosures. Such studies involve, for example, determining the interactions between, and energy transfer from, one trophic level to another, the biogeochemical cycling of elements and compounds, etc. These and similar interactions and rate processes cannot normally be established in situations (nature) where the detection and quantification of rate processes are confused by advection and/or the inability to study the same populations over time. In the case of microcosms, mixed populations of primary producers, consumers, and carnivores cannot be maintained, in balance, for a sufficient length of time to determine normal interactions between the various components of these trophic levels.

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