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Wave mesocosms: A new tool for experimental ecology
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New wave flume lab at Kristineberg

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The new wave mesocosm laboratory at Kristineberg makes it possible to test how different type of waves affect plants and animals. See our researcher Eduardo Infantes explain how it works.

“It's possible to explore many different questions for example how waves affect the survival morphology and biomechanics of plants, the effect of physical behavior and adaptations to flow, how waves affect mussel morphology, or how sediment motion is affected by plant canopies, say Eduardo Infantes at the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Gothenburg, and the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, and one of the researchers behind the new lab.

“Compared to engineering flumes which are large, expensive, and very complicated to run we wanted to have a simpler system that can be used for ecological purposes.”

Ideal for answering ecological questions

Living organisms are placed in the mesocosm together with marine seawater to run experiments to see how the waves affect the organisms.

The wavemaker can generate three types of waves, single waves which is a simulation of boat wakes, continuous waves, or irregular waves. 

“In these wave tanks we can simulate the same conditions for all the tanks for example the same nutrients, light, temperature, salinity, pH and we only modify the wave energy.”

“The wave mesocosm is ideal to simulate realistic bed shear stress over a long period of time to answer ecological questions using replicated experiments,” say Eduardo Infantes.

See more in the video above, in the research article below or visit www.eduardoinfantes.com.