One of Europe's largest and technologically most advanced facilities for studying environmental impacts on shallow freshwaters.
Originally established in 1998, the mesocosm facility is located at the University of Liverpool's stunning Ness Botanic Gardens, on the Wirral peninsula. The facility comprises of 50 3000 litre shallow freshwater mesocosms, making it one of Europe's largest facilities for studying environmental impacts on shallow freshwaters.
The facility was substantially upgraded in 2014, funded by a NERC Highlight grant awarded to Dr Stewart Plaistow, Professor David Atkinson and Professor Steve Paterson.
Each 'smart' mesocosm is now programmable, allowing us to independently manipulate thermal profiles. Moreover, each mesocosm is connected to a data logger, allowing us to continuously monitor changes in temperature at different depths.
The system is currently being used to understand which factors limit the capacity for rapid adaptation to heatwaves in Daphnia magna, a water flea that has a major impact on water quality and the health of freshwater ecosystems.