Gault Nature Reserve Mesocosm Platform

Gault Nature Reserve Mesocosm Platform
Legal name of organisation
McGill University
North America
Organisation address

845 Sherbrooke St W


QC H3A 0G4


Primary contact information (PI)

Gregor Fussmann (PI), Please login or request access to view contact information.

David Maneli (Associate Director of Gault Nature Reserve) Please login or request access to view contact information.

Years of Mesocosm Experiments
2012 - present
Description of Facility

A floating platform contains 8 arrays of 4 rings of a ~1 m diameter (i.e., maximal capacity = 32 mesocosms), which can be used to suspend polyethylene bags in the lake. Lake mesocosms can vary in depth, with the maximal lake depth at this location being ~7 m. Electrical wires are fed underneath the platform, with one electrical outlet providing a limited amount of power for each pair of rings. Gas tubing has also been fed under the platform. The floating dock is connected to the shore via a floating walkway.

The lake mesocosm platform is located in Lac Hertel at the Gault Nature Reserve. The watershed is fully forested and the surrounding park is owned by the University. However, the mesocosm platform is located within a part of the park that is off-limits to visitors. The access to the platform itself is protected via a fence, and there is a security camera.

A car or truck can reach 100 m away from the mesocosm platform. However, a golf cart, wagon or canoe can be borrowed to bring equipment to the platform.

The platform is not wheelchair accessible due to the presence of three steps.

Controlled Parameters
  • pH
  • DOC
  • Temperature
  • CO­2
  • Nitrate
  • Phosphate
  • Zooplankton
Research Topics
  • Seasonal limnology
  • rapid evolution
  • plankton resource limitation and responses to environmental change
  • winter limnology
  • food web dynamics and processes
Facility location(s)
45.543060, -73.150762
Primary interests
Specialist areas
  • A permanent, long-term monitoring buoy is being installed in the lake about 100m from the mesocosm site, and data will be available via the Gault Nature Reserve.
  • Tubing for CO2 bubbling and mixing
  • Ice auger
  • Life jackets
  • An equipment storage cabin 100 m away is available for researchers
  • A lab space with running water and a fume hood is available ~1km away from the mesocosm platform

Researchers can stay on-site (~1 km from the platform) in cabins with bunk beds.

Photos of experiments/installations
Photo credit: Gregor Fussmann
Photo credit: Egor Katkov
Photo credit: Gregor Fussmann
Photo credit: Egor Katkov