Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

An experimental mesocosm for long-term studies of reef corals

Cecilia D'angeloa1 and Jörg Wiedenmanna1 c1

a1 National Oceanography Centre, Southampton/University of Southampton, European Way, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK


Molecular biological methods including genomic and proteomic approaches hold a specific promise to provide new insights into the stress physiology of corals. However, to fully exploit the power of these techniques, aquarium setups are required that allow biological assays under tightly controlled laboratory conditions. Here, details are provided about the successful development of a closed coral mesocosm at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. The system can be operated without access to natural seawater and allows long-term observations and experimental studies of reef corals. The individual experimental tanks allow the corals to be exposed, for example, to different light and/or temperature conditions without the need to disconnect them from the system.

(Received January 31 2011)

(Accepted October 10 2011)

(Online publication December 09 2011)


c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: J. Wiedenmann, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton/University of Southampton email: