Deliverable 3.4

Abstract: Protocols for field experiments and monitoring along a climate gradient in Task 2

This deliverable is a protocol which describes the set-up and running of a 7-month pan-European enclosure experiment undertaken simultaneously, with parallel sampling, in 6 countries (Sweden, Estonia, Germany, the Czech Republic, Greece and Turkey) along a north-south climate gradient. The experiments will be run from May to December 2011.

In all countries each experiment consists of 16 enclosures (diameter 1.2 m) containing 10 cm of sediment and 1050-2150 litres of water at experimental start-up. The enclosures are placed floating in a lake, but will be fixed to a platform close to the shore. Four different treatments are investigated: two depths (1 m and 2 m) and two nutrient levels (low and high loadings of nitrogen and phosphorus). There will be four replicates of each treatment. Prior to the experiments the sediment will be equilibrated to the two levels of nutrient addition and inoculums of plankton, benthos, fish and submerged macrophytes will be added to each enclosure.

During the experiments the water column in each enclosure will be continuously mixed and nutrients will be added once every month. All main physical (temperature, water depth, etc.), chemical (nutrient concentrations, chlorophyll a, etc.) and biological components (phytoplankton, zooplankton, periphyton, macrophytes, ecosystem metabolism, etc.) of the enclosures will be monitored by routine sampling once or twice a month during the experimental period. Protocols for a number of optional samples are described; these will be conducted by some of the partners as a supplement and will add additional information and results. All sampling and analytical procedures are described in detail in the protocol to ensure comparable results.

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