Aquatic microcosms are being implemented at the Ecotron IleDeFrance nearby Paris. Microcosms are small containers dedicated to aquatic microbial ecosystems studies from single populations to communities of bacteria, microalgae and other planktonic organisms. Currently, we have in our dedicated laboratories 13 chemostats (single glass vessels) for culturing bacteria and phytoplankton in sterile conditions and 4 double-system chemostats (paired system made out of two connected glass vessels) dedicated to the study of phyto- and zooplankton interactions and dynamics. All the systems can be used to run continuous cultures in a light and temperature controlled environment. Several facilities are also available to support the user’s work (laminar hood, flow-cytometer, autoclave, microscopes, oxygen and nutrients analyzers, see the analytical instrumentation section for more details). Moreover, we have 36 custom-made open-top aquatic microcosms dedicated to experimentation on aquatic ecosystems in the Ecolab environmental chambers. As much as 12 aquatic microcosms, made out of stainless steel, can be deployed in each climate chamber of the Ecolab system. Temperature, water mixing and irradiance can be precisely controlled inside each microcosm, and atmospheric conditions are precisely regulated. A flow-through respirometric system dedicated to accurate measurement of O2 and CO2 exchanges with the air and stable isotope (C12/C13 ratio of CO2 in the atmosphere) is under development, in order to perform measurements on ecosystems mass-balance.
For further details on the aquatic microcosms facility, please consult the technical data sheet and/or contact Dr. Sarah Fiorini at Ecotron IleDeFrance.