Experiments with large enclosed ecosystems

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
J M Davies, J C Gamble

Abstract

Three of the major advantages of enclosure experiments are that they ensure (1) that the same populations are sampled over a long period; (2) that populations of at least three trophic levels are initially enclosed in naturally occurring proportions and that they are self sustaining over a long experimental period; and (3) that replicate enclosed populations can be experimentally manipulated. There are two disadvantages which must be mentioned. These are (1) that vertical mixing, which may be reduced by as much as an order of magnitude compared to the open sea, will undoubtedly affect the sinking rates of phytoplankton and may influence the structure of the population; and (2) that as a general rule the larger and therefore more expensive the enclosures become, the more difficult it is to run sufficient replicates. An experiment is described in which 1 microgram Hg/l was added to two 95 m3 bags (3 mdiameter by 17 m deep) and the response of the pelagic population monitored over the following 20 days. A further 10 micrograms Hg/l was then added to each enclosure and the response measured for a further 20 days. The results indicated that: (i) inorganic mercury added to the water column is very rapidly transformed into 'bound' or ...Continue Reading

References

Mar 1, 1985·Environmental Monitoring and Assessment·F S Sanders
Mar 1, 1981·Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety·J Kuiper
Feb 1, 1984·Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety·J Kuiper, A O Hanstveit

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