Mesocosms are versatile test systems that can examine both structural and functional components of aquatic ecosystems in a laboratory setting. Since the late 1990s, researchers at NCCOS's Charleston, South Carolina, laboratory have used mesocosms to evaluate the fate and effects of individual chemical contaminants and mixtures in a simulated salt marsh ecosystem.
In a presentation at last month's36th Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Salt Lake City, Utah, NCCOS researchers highlighted the value of mesocosms to evaluate contaminant effects in estuarine ecosystems. The presentation provided examples of how mesocosms can be used to assess contaminant impacts under different exposure scenarios and establish a link between traditional laboratory testing and field assessments.
For more information, contact Mike.Fulton@noaa.gov.