SS10 - Mesocosm experiments

Mesocosm experiments advancing mechanistic understanding of environmental change in fresh water ecosystems

Convenors: Catherine Leigh and Mark E. Ledger
Affiliations: Griffith University (Australia) and University of Birmingham (UK)
Contact e-mail: c.leigh@griffith.edu.au; m.e.ledger@bham.ac.uk

Brief synopsis of the session:
Mesocosm experiments are being used increasingly to develop sound mechanistic understanding of environmental change in the freshwater realm. This special session will showcase the latest research from around the world using mesocosms as tools to further understanding of the shifting environmental conditions associated with climate change, and the impacts and vulnerabilities of ecosystems to changing water resource availability and habitat fragmentation. The session will showcase research conducted at contrasting spatial and temporal scales, in both standing and running waters, highlighting developments and future directions for environmental change research in water-dependent systems. We also invite presentations on mesocosm design and realism, including pitfalls and new advances. Presenters will be invited to participate in a related workshop (to be proposed), e.g. focused on developing a position paper. The session will serve as a platform for establishing a collaborative network for coordinated mesocosm research across the globe.

List of potential contributors to the session:

  • Catherine Leigh et al. (Griffith University, Australia): Drought disrupts the diversity dynamics of stream communities.
  • Mark Ledger, Mark Trimmer, Guy Woodward et al. (University of Birmingham, UK): Habitat loss transforms multiple ecosystem processes: evidence from a stream mesocosm experiment.
  • Ross Thompson et al. (University of Canberra, Australia): Means and extremes in a stream food web: realistic climate change scenarios generate chaotic outcomes.
  • Jack Cosby, Isabelle Durance, Steve Ormerod et al. (Cardiff University, UK): Experimental freshwater ecosystems in the context of long-term ecological research platforms.
  • Ross Vander Vorste et al. (Virginia Tech University, USA): Abiotic and biotic factors influence invertebrate use of the hyporheic zone as a refuge from drying: insights from laboratory mesocosm experiments.
  • Mark Gessner, Susanne Stephan et al. (Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Germany): Mesocosm experiments in LakeLab: researching the effects of climate change on aquatic organisms, their interactions and the ecological processes in lakes.
  • Kieran Khamis, Mark Ledger, Mark Trimmer, Guy Woodward et al. (University of Birmingham, UK): Mesocosm experiments reveal biophysical controls on organic carbon fluxes in fluvial mesocosms.