Welcome to the IberianPonds!
The IberianPonds is a multi-region experimental facility using 192 freshwater mesocosms (1000-l tanks) distributed across six locations (sites in Arid, Mediterranean, Temperate and Alpine environments) designed to test the effects of climate change on aquatic food-webs.
This unique mesocosm facility in the Iberian Peninsula was initially established with funding from a large European research programme led by Miguel Araújo (IC&DT Call No 1/SAESCTN/ALENT-07-0224-FEDER-001755).
So what is a mesocosm?
Mesocosms bring a small part of the environment under controlled conditions, although they are rarely replicated across regions because of high costs. Aquatic mesocosms are popular as they enable complete characterization of food webs from bacteria to vertebrates. Although lab experiments have enabled some progress towards understanding of the processes determining the structure and dynamics of ecological communities, they have rarely been generalized across regions with different climatic conditions. With this new and unique experimental mesocosm facility, we are now equipped to test assumptions and predictions regarding the structure and functioning of whole ecosystem food webs within each artificial pond and compare them across multiple experimental sites.