Laboratory mesocosms

The overarching aim of the UKOA benthic consortium is to quantify and predict the impact of ocean acidification on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in three key UK coastal habitats

  • soft sediments
  • calcareous biogenic habitats such as cold water coral reefs and maerl beds
  • rocky intertidal

The creation of long-term mesocosms enables the control of temperature and CO2, levels allowing investigations to be carried out over longer periods than previously attempted in ocean acidification studies. The increased study duration enables different aspects of the behaviour and physiology of key species within each habitat, as well as the biogeochemistry and microbiology in a range of sediments, to be investigated at prolonged periods of elevated CO2 levels.

A summary of the data sets being collected from the mesocosm facilities is available from the UKOA mesocosm inventory.

UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme