Ocean2100 aquarium facility
Background and aims:
Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems on this planet. They are also among the most threatened ecosystems because of their vulnerability to environmental changes. The main threats to coral reefs on a global scale are ocean warming, extreme heatwaves, and ocean acidification. Together with local threats such as pollution and overfishing, climate change has caused a decline in coral reefs by more than 20 % to date. It is important to understand how hard corals and other coral reef organisms respond to and cope with these rapidly changing environmental conditions to inform coral reef conservation and to implement the most effective restoration approaches.
The Ocean2100 aquarium facility at the University of Giessen is a global change simulator that we use to expose hard corals and other organisms living in coral reefs to future climate change scenarios. This is a long-term project that exposes the organisms to gradual increases in temperature and the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide over a period of 10 years to progressively match the conditions predicted under the IPCC high emission scenario (RCP 8.5) for the year 2100. These long-term projections will enable us to study how the corals respond to more realistic rates of environmental change compared to short-term experimental treatments. In this set up, we aim to assess and measure their adaptation and acclimatization mechanisms using methods from a variety of fields, including 'omics' approaches together with functional microbiology, morphology, and ecophysiology.
The aquarium facility currently has a seawater capacity of 7,500 liters. The main experimental unit consists of 18 aquaria of 265 liters each. The seawater conditions in each tank can be controlled individually and are constantly monitored through an online system. Several smaller experimental units can be used to conduct ancillary experiments.
Ocean2100 is located at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen in Germany. It is a scientific lighthouse project of the Corporation(Bogota, Colombia).
The Ocean2100 facilities are open to all CEMarin researchers and can be used free of charge.
For more inquiries contact Dr. Maren Ziegler