IMS-METU Mesocosm System

IMS-METU Mesocosm System
Legal name of organisation
Middle East Technical University (METU), Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS)
Organisation address

Middle East Technical University, Institute of Marine Sciences,

33731, Erdemli,



Primary contact information (PI)

Dr. Korhan Özkan

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Years of Mesocosm Experiments
2021 - present
Description of Facility

IMS-METU mesocosm facility consists of 24 outdoor mesocosms and for stocking tanks mimicking shallow lake or coastal ecosystems. The system allows 3×2 factorial design experiments Each tank is made of polyethylene with a diameter of 2 m and depth of 1.8 m and insulated. Tanks are equipped with dynamic heating systems that can simulate climate change scenarios. Each tank is equipped with real-time sensors for temperature, oxygen, methane, carbon dioxide monitoring. The water column can be mixed with wave makers. Currently each tank has 0.3 m natural lake sediment and 1.2 m of water column and inoculated with natural communities (plankton to fish) from Anatolian coastal and inland Lakes. The facility involves a nearby field laboratory and storage facilities hosting all sampling equipment and basic analysis capacity.

Detailed information is available at the publication:

Özkan, K., Korkmaz, M., Amorim, C. A., Yılmaz, G., Koru, M., Can, Y., … & Jeppesen, E. (2023). Mesocosm Design and Implementation of Two Synchronized Case Study Experiments to Determine the Impacts of Salinization and Climate Change on the Structure and Functioning of Shallow Lakes. Water15(14), 2611.

Controlled Parameters
  • Temperature
  • mixing
  • nutrient levels
  • salinity
  • species composition if required.
Research Topics
  • Climate change effects on ecosystems
  • extreme events
  • salinisation
  • ecosystem ecology
Facility location(s)
36.564427, 34.254018
Primary interests
  • Ecology of inland and coastal lakes as well as coastal seas
Specialist areas
  • Aquatic ecology
  • ecosystem ecology
  • community ecology
  • climate change
  • plankton
  • All tanks were equipped with temperature, oxygen, methane and CO2 sensors.
  • There is a nearby field lab for basic wet-lab requirements such as filtration, alkalinity, Chl-a measurements.
  • The site includes storage facility for all sampling and maintenance gears.
  • The institute laboratories are 200 m away and hosting a large analyses capacity (nutrient auto-analyzers, HPLC, ICP-MS, Ion Chromatography, CHN analyzer, TOC-TN analyzer, microscope labs)

Lodging may be provided on campus for visiting students and researchers.

Source of Information
Photos of experiments/installations

The facility includes 24 experimental mesocosm tanks, photo credits: Korhan Özkan

Aerial view of mesocosm system and nearby field laboratory, photo credit: Korhan Özkan

Mesocosm tanks are innoculated with biotic communities, photo credits: Korhan Özkan

Mesocosm tanks are equipped with sensors including GHG measurements, photo credits:Korhan Özkan

Dedicated field laboratory and facilities, photo credits: Korhan Özkan