Perform a mesocosm study in Lunz

AQUACOSM enables us to invite external researchers to collaborate with us on the research outlined below (see How to get involved, below). Depending on positive evaluation of your application, AQUACOSM covers your travel and accomodation for the time of the experiment,as well as local resources (lab space, consumables etc). Please don’t hesitate contacting us for questions or support with the proposal.


Your proposal can be related to the following research ideas, but you can also suggest your own research. Pls contact us with your research idea so we can jointly develop an exciting research project. Depending on your state of career, you can participate as a trainee or researcher, as part of a team or individual.


  • Light-dependent bacterivory – mixotrophic algae are light dependent consumers and are now recognized as key bacterivores. Recognizing this effect challenges teh classical concept of the microbial food web. For testing the structuring effect of light intensity on the microbial food web, natural plankton communities can be exposed to a range of light intensities, as we have done in a previous marine study.



Numeric responses of bacteria and Synechococcus (left) and their grazers (right) along an experimental light gradient. PE: mixotrophic picoeukaryotes; HF: het. flagellates. Ptacnik et al. SciRep 2016.


  • Role of connectivity for diversity in plankton communities – by manipulating frequency of inoculation events and/or the diversity of lakes used for inoculating mesocosms, we can test how diversity of plankton communities is affected by colonization events, and how diversity changes translate into differences in functioning.


Effects of connectivity (C) on taxon richness of bacteria and protists in a previous mesocosm experiment. Richness of +C treatments (y-axis) plotted against richness in -C treatments (x-axis). (Bengtsson, Eggers et al in prep.)






New DACH project on mixotrohpic bacterivory in lakes

Clipboard01In January we had an exciting kickoff-meeting of our new collaborative project LakeMix in Greifswald – Mia, thanks for hosting us so nicely! Together with Mia Bentsson (Univ Greifwald) and colleagues at IGB (Stella Berger, Jens Nejstgaard, Hans Peter Grossart), we aim to characterize the impact of mixotrophic flagellates on the microbial food web in lakes. Lab experiments involving chemostat experiments will take place in Lunz, in collaboration with Robert Fischer. Molecular analyses and field work will take place in Greifswald and at the Lake Lab in Neuglobsow.

Chrysophytes by Robert Fischer, inspired by images from Tikkanen & Willén 1992