Facilities

Cretacosmos facilities include 12 polyethylene mesocosm-bags of capacity  up to 5 m³, which are incubated in two large volume concrete tanks (one with volume 150 m³ and 3 m depth and a second one with volume 350 m³ and 5 m depth). Temperature can be controlled (±0.5°C of ambient temperature) in both concrete tanks by temperature sensors.The smaller (150m³) tank is equipped by a sophisticated, fully-automated heating/cooling water system with electric valves, resistances and temperature sensors that allow water heating/cooling and temperature control at ±0.5 ºC of targeted temperature. The mesocosm facility is complemented by a 26m long research vessel, PHILIA, a zodiac and a variety of experimental laboratories: chemical lab, radio-isotope lab (14C, 33P, 3H), flow cytometry lab (FACSCalibur flow cytometer, -80°C freezer), microscopy lab (inverted and epifluorescence microscopes, image analysis system), culture/live laboratory (autoclave, laminar flow, incubator, milliQ water, lab washer), constant temperature room and several general use labs.
  • This facility enables experimentation and hypothesis testing at the ecosystem level under replicated, controlled and repeatable conditions.
  • The land based facility equipped for water heating/cooling and temperature control allows for large scale experiments focusing on questions relating to climate change.

  • Newly developed benthocosms combining water column and sediment in the same mesocosm bag allow experiments focusing on benthic pelagic coupling and studying effects on various water column perturbations on the benthic community.