Aquanet is a project that focuses on the study of the resistance and resilience of an ecosystem due to disturbances and environmental disturbances.
These disturbances can be for example environmental changes. The study focuses on how the ecosystems adapt. The project is using mesocosms to manipulate the ecosystem by reducing the light availability and adding predators.
The project consists of five stations located at Svartberget, Erken, Asa, Skogaryd and Bolmen. At the stations the research is conducted by local personnel and the experiments are done on a floating platform containing 16 mesocosms. The platform is equipped with 64 sensors to monitor parameters on-line, such as temperature, pH, oxygen, CH4 and CO2. This will generate big amount of data and make it possible to study the ecosystems in a more detailed manner.
The personnel at the stations are responsible for maintenance of the platform, regular water sampling and preparations of the samples for analysis at the associated laboratory. Further, the water samples will be analyzed for bacteria, zooplankton and phytoplankton.
The project has developed a standardized working protocol for all the participating stations to ensure the reliability of the results. This is because different working procedures might lead to different results. This is crucial for ecosystem studies in order to be able to detect general behavioral patterns and how local differences in parameters might affect the outcome. This project is one of the kinds since it has deployed identical platforms and working procedures. And is also being conducted at stations spread in a climate gradient in Sweden.