Legal name of organisation
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR)
Organisation address

Institute of Oceanography
Ex American Base Gournes
71003 Heraklion, Crete

Primary contact information (PI)

Dr. Paraskevi Pitta

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Years of Mesocosm Experiments
2009 to present
Description of Facility

outdoor – pelagic/benthic – marin

12 polyethylene mesocosm-bags up to 5 m3 (1.32 m diameter) 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)

9 benthocosms combining water column (1.5 m3, 4 m deep, 0.64 m diameter) and sediment (85 L) in the same polyethylene mesocosm-bag

The smaller (150 m³) 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

Controlled Parameters

Temperature, light, nutrients

Research Topics

Response of the ultra-oligotrophic food web of the Eastern Mediterranean to perturbations, climate change scenarios (simultaneous effect of warming & acidification), impact of aerosol input, effect of silver nanoparticles, benthic-pelagic coupling at benthocosms, hypoxia

Facility location(s)
Primary interests
Specialist areas

chemical lab, radio-isotope lab (14C, 33P, 3H), flow cytometry lab, microscopy lab (inverted and epifluorescence microscopes, image analysis system), culture/live laboratory, constant temperature room and several general use labs, 26m long research vessel PHILIA, zodiac


no dormitories, accomodation in hotels

Source of Information
Photos of experiments/installations
Cretacosmos facility during the LightDynaMix project (Photo: Stella A Berger)
Two basins of the Cretacosmos mesocosm facility (Photo: Vivi Pitta)
Cretacosmos mesocosm facility (Photo: Vivi Pitta)